Old Fashioned Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream are easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients. Airy pastry shells filled with a creamy pastry cream, topped with chocolate, maraschino cherries, and dusted with powdered sugar.
These delicious creations come straight from my grandmother’s kitchen.
Much of my talent was handed down from my grandmothers’ and my mom. Handmade talent runs deep in my family and my parents insisted I learn how to craft everything homemade, to be self-sufficient. One of the best creations my French Canadian grandmother made was Old Fashioned Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream.
I absolutely adored watching my grandmother, effortlessly working over her stove top whipping up hearty dinners, while fresh coffee peculates. The smells that came from her kitchen made your stomach growl. She is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about cooking and baking whatever I can from scratch. That doesn’t mean I don’t love a dinner out. But, it brings me such joy to grown our own vegetable garden, bake from scratch, and make homemade dinners. It’s a way of life that was handed down generations, along with family heirloom recipes. One of her most cherished delights is Old Fashioned Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream.
To make Pastry Cream:
Simply combine one package of instant vanilla pudding, almond extract, and 1 cup milk. Then fold together with the whipped heavy cream. My grandmother created this egg-less version of pastry cream, so it is easier to transport during hot summer months!
This mixture works great for Pastry with Berries. (a recipe from my cookbook: A Farmgirl’s Table)
It’s a shortbread crust with grandma’s pastry filling and topped with fresh fruit and/or berries. Perfect for all your summer entertaining!
Prepare ahead of time:
Prepare the cream puffs the night before your picnic. Place them on a half sheet pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Dust them with powdered sugar right before serving.
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Old Fashioned Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream
Straight from the kitchen of my grandmother.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons corn syrup
- maraschino cherries, mint leaf candies, and powdered sugar for garnish (drain the maraschino cherries)
To make cream puffs, in a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add the shortening or butter, and salt. Let the water return to a full boil and then remove from the heat. Add the flour, stirring until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan. Using an electric hand mixer on high speed, add the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well between additions. The mixture will be very smooth and silky looking. Allow cream puff batter to cool completely.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
Using two large tablespoon drop the batter in about 8 to 9 scoops on the prepared baking pan. (or use a cookie scoop) Bake for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set pan on a baking rack to cool.
To make the pastry filling, in a large bowl add the vanilla pudding, milk, and almond extract; blend together. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator. When ready to fill cream puffs, add the heavy cream to a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer to whip to stiff peaks. Fold the pudding mixture and whipped cream together using a spatula.
Slice the tops off the cream puffs, removing and discarding some of the pastry with your fingers. Scoop the filling into each cream puff.
To make the chocolate ganache, create a double boiler by bringing a medium pot of water to a simmer over medium heat. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the boiling water, adding the chocolate chips, butter, heavy cream, and corn syrup to the bowl. Stir mixture together with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and combined. Drizzle warm chocolate over top of the pastry filled cream puffs. Decorated with drained maraschino cherries and mint leaf candies. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
TIP: You can prepare cream puffs the night before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. They will last in the fridge for about 2 days.
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