Underground Eclairs
Total:
2 hr 5 min
Active:
1 hr 5 min
Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy
Total:
2 hr 5 min
Active:
1 hr 5 min
Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

Choux Pastry:
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
Pastry Cream:
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 cup milk
Icing:
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 egg white
Fruits:
  • Central line: 5 small strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • District line: 1 kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Circle line: 1/4 small peeled pineapple, thinly sliced
  • Hammersmith and City: 2 ounces raspberries

Directions

Special equipment: Pastry bag or resealable plastic bag fitted with a 3/4-inch pastry tip

For the choux: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (fan assisted). Pour 1/4 cup water and the milk into a medium saucepan and add the salt, sugar and butter. Place the pan over high heat, and melt the butter. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and add the flour.

Beat hard. At this point the mixture will have the consistency of lumpy mashed potatoes. Continue beating until you have a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan without sticking, it takes about 1 minute.

Take the pan off the heat and continue to beat until the dough is cold enough to touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time ¿ the batter will go lumpy when you add them, but beating continuously will smooth it out. Once both eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth, put the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round nozzle.

Line a large baking tray with parchment paper, dotting a little dough in each corner to stick the paper down. Pipe a 4-inch line of the choux mixture at a 45-degree angle. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 8 eclairs.

Bake until golden and crisp, 25 minutes. While the eclairs are baking, make the pastry cream.

For the pastry cream: In a large bowl by hand, with an electric hand whisk or standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until light and thick, then whisk in the cornstarch.

Split the vanilla pod in half. Remove the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the milk. Heat the milk just until scalding, and then switch off the heat.

Pour the milk in a slow stream on to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously the whole time. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and continuously whisk over a medium heat. Make sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the pan, otherwise the mixture will burn.

The cream will start to thicken. Once it releases a bubble or two, take it off the heat. Pour into a bowl to cool and place plastic wrap touching the surface of the cream so as to not form a skin (pat the plastic wrap down on the surface so it sticks directly on to the cream). Cool at room temperature at first, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

When ready to use, beat to smooth the cream out and place in a pastry bag or plastic resealable bag. Cut the eclairs open horizontally and pipe some pastry cream inside the eclair, then put the top back on and make the icing.

For the icing: Mix the confectioner's sugar with the lemon juice and egg white until you have a very thick paste. If it is too runny, it won't stick properly, in which case, just add a little more confectioner's sugar.

Spread a thin line of fondant icing along the top of the eclair lid. Slice the fruits thinly and line up along the top of the pastry, using the icing to stick them down.

Decorate each eclair with 2 slices each strawberries, kiwis, pineapples and raspberries respectively.

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