HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING! I am definitely one of those people who looove thanksgiving, because I always associate it with eating delicious food all day long. Its one of the best holidays, in my opinion. To celebrate I’ve made some pumpkin spiced custard-filled cream puffs that look like pumpkins!
It’s good to note that these cream puffs freeze amazingly, so if you want to make them way in advance, and serve them super cold, it all works out! The inside almost becomes like a dense ice cream — my mouth is watering just thinking about them. I also was able to make 15 really large cream puffs, but you can definitely get a larger yield if you pipe your choux paste a lot smaller. These are perfect for any dinner parties for all season of autumn.
In my recipe video below, I also show you how to make the perfect choux paste, including the craquelin topping, or the crunchy sugar bit on the tops. This recipe can be used again and again, just change the custard flavour on the inside and you are good to go! Here is what you’ll need:
Pumpkin Spiced Custard
This recipe makes enough for 10-15 large cream puffs.
300g (1-1/4 cup) milk
3 egg yolks
100g (1/2 cup) pumpkin purée
60g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
20g (2 tbsp) flour
20g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
2g (2 tsp) cinnamon
1g (1 tsp) nutmeg
0.5g (1/2 tsp) ginger
0.25g (1/4 tsp) clove
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the milk. Whisk until completely incorporated.
- In a medium saucepan over medium/high heat, bring the milk to a boil, watching the pot so it doesn’t boil over.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, take off heat, and pour 1/3 into the egg mixture, whisking simultaneously to bring the temperature of the eggs up, without curdling the egg. Continue whisking and adding milk until about 2/3 of the milk is in the bowl.
- Pour the milk and egg mixture into the saucepan, place over medium heat, constantly mixing, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens up. About 1-2 minutes.
- Take off heat and pour into a heatproof bowl, and cover the surface with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin. Keep in the refrigerator until completely chilled, or the freezer to speed the cooling process up.
- Once chilled, whisk it a few times to break up the custard slightly, then fill into a piping bag with a small plain or stair tip attached and fill up the cream puffs.
Choux au Craquelin
This recipe makes about 15 large cream puffs, or 20-24 mini cream puffs.
For the craquelin
43g (3 tbsp) soft butter
54g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
54g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) flour, sifted
1/8 tsp powdered orange food colour + 2 drops yellow gel food colour
For the choux
122g (1/2 cup) water
62g (1/4 cup) butter
3g (1/2 tsp) salt
92g (3/4 cup) flour
2-3 whole eggs
For the craquelin
- In a small bowl with a spatula, cream the butter and sugar together until fully combined. Then add in the flour, and stir until just combined.
- Turn out onto a large sheet of parchment, and roll out until very thin. Place onto a tray and freeze until needed.
- Once needed, cut circles into the craquelin using the back of a large piping tip or a small circle cookie cutter.
For the choux
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
- In a small saucepan on medium high heat, bring the water, butter, and salt to a rolling boil, and make sure the butter is fully melted.
- Add in the flour at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Mix over medium heat until it forms a dough that pulls away from the sides of the pot, and forms a slight skin on the bottom of the pan. About 2 min.
- Place the dough into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and stir on low speed so that the dough cools.
- Once there is no more hot steam rising from the dough, or the side of the bowl is warm but not hot to the touch, add in one egg at a time, mixing thoroughly for a few minutes or until the egg is completely mixed into the dough. Scrape the sides down, and add the second egg, and mix again until the dough is completely combined.
- Assess the texture of the dough, it should be slightly stiff, shiny, and falls slowly in a fluid motion when lifted with a spatula. If it is too stiff, beat and add half of the third egg and mix until combined. If it is still too stiff, add the rest of the third egg. I used about 2-1/2 eggs.
- Fill your paste into a piping bag with a #6 plain, or star tip, and pipe onto a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving about 1-2 inches of space between each puff.
- Brush the tops with egg wash, and place a circle of craquelin on top.
- Bake for 30-35 min, but don’t open the oven until after the 25 min mark or you will lose the steam and they won’t rise as much.
- Once they are crisp and browned, as well as round and hollow, they are ready to cool and then be filled with the custard of choice.