Cherry Vanilla Cream Puffs

This recipe is made in several steps and requires assembly – read through entire recipe for overview.

Tart Dough

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon heavy cream

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and salt. Add flour in two batches, alternating with cream. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.


1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour
4 large whole eggs

In saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt and bring mixture to boil over medium high heat. Add flour, and continue mixing over heat until dough pulls away from the ides of the pan. Remove from heat. Place dough in mixer and beat to cool dough slightly. Add eggs one at a time until dough is smooth and satiny. Using a pastry bag, pipe 2 inch circles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Roll out TART DOUGH with granulated sugar to keep from sticking. Cut out into 1 ½ – 2 inch rounds, using cookie or biscuit cutter. Place tart dough rounds on top of puff dough. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until puffs are golden brown. Allow to cool and prepare pastry cream filling.

Pastry Cream Filling

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
Fruit of your choice (pitted cherries were used in the winning recipe)

In saucepan, combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean and salt. Over medium high heat, bring mixture to boil and remove from heat.

Whisk yolks, remaining ¼ cup sugar and cornstarch in separate bowl. Gradually add hot milk mixture to the yolk mixture, whisking, and return incorporated mixture back to the saucepan. Whisk over heat until cream begins to thicken or reaches 160°. Remove vanilla bean. Whisk in butter, until it melts. Cover with plastic wrap (place directly on the cream mixture to prevent film from forming) and refrigerate 2 hours. Just before serving, whip heavy cream and fold in to cream mixture.

To Assemble:

Make small slit in puffs and stuff in fruit of your choice. Pipe pastry cream into centers of puffs.

SOURCE: Second Place Winner, Eliza Bradbury, Berry Festival 2007


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