Strawberry Cream Puffs Recipe

The French call this pastry “Choux”(pronounced “shoo”) meaning cabbage pastry because it puffs up a head of cabbage, thus the name “Cream Puff”.  It’s the same dough to make eclairs or even churros! It’s a very versatile pastry so use your imagination to make sweet or savory treats.  Strawberry Cream Puff is a great recipe if you have lots of time and guess what – we do!

Serves 12 (about 24 – 28 pieces)

Ingredients for the dough
1 Stick or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, diced
1 Cup of water in a medium pot
1/2 tsp of salt
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
4 eggs
1 egg for egg wash

Ingredients for the Pastry Cream
2 Cups of whole milk in a medium pot
1/2 cup of sugar, divided into 2
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 375’F.
  2. Prepare the Cream Puff Dough. Bring the pot of water to a boil with the butter and a pinch of salt.
  3. Once it boils remove from heat and add all the flour. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix vigorously until it forms a dough and all the flour is absorbed. Return to the stove and continue to mix until a thin film forms at the bottom of the pot, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Continue to mix for about 3 minutes with a spatula until steam is reduced and no longer hot enough to add the eggs. This can also be done using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Mixing by hand or with a stand mixer, add the egg one at a time, make sure that the egg is incorporated before you add the next one.
  6. When all the eggs are added, it should form a very sticky dough and drops slowly when the spatula is lifted.
  7. Fill pastry bag with dough with a round piping tip or just cut off the tip of piping bag, about an inch from the tip when ready to pipe. Prepare your baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pipe small rounds of about 2-3 tablespoons of dough and space at least 2 inches apart. Lightly brush each dough with egg wash and flatten the top of the mounds that formed while piping the dough.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Never open the oven after about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes check if the dough is golden brown and firm. Add 5 minutes of baking time if necessary or until the dough is stiff and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in a wire rack. Cool it down until ready to fill.
  9. Prepare the pastry cream. (You can do this a day before or a few hours before you make the dough) Bring the pot of milk to a boil with 1/4 cup of sugar.
  10. While the milk is coming to a boil, prepare the egg mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Whisk until pale. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth. With the milk piping hot, remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk, do this 4 times and then add the egg mixture to the pot with the remaining milk. This ensures the egg doesn’t cook if you add the hot milk all at the same time.
  11. Return the mixture to the stove. On medium heat, constantly stir the mixture with the whisk. When it starts to thicken and lumps form, remove from heat and whisk vigorously to smoothen the mixture. Return to the stove and continue to stir until it starts to thicken further and the mixture bubbles. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Adjust the heat when necessary so that the mixture will not burn before it cooks. It should not taste like uncooked paste that is grainy.
  12. Remove from heat. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add the vanilla extract and stir for another 5 minutes so the mixture will cool down. Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a film. Allow to cool up to room temperature set in an ice bath.
  13. When the pastry cream is ready, whisk in the 2 Tablespoons of butter until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator until the pastry cream is cold.
  14. When the mixture is ready. It’s time to assemble the strawberry cream puffs!
  15. To Make the Strawberry Cream Puff filling you will need the following…… 2 cups of whipped cream (about 1 cup of heavy cream beaten with 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract). You will also need 1 to 2 container of strawberries that are washed and wiped-dry, and sliced into disks about 1/4 inch thick. Take the chilled pastry cream out of the fridge and whisk to smoothen the lumps. Put the whipped cream and pastry cream in separate piping bags.
  16. Assemble The Strawberry Cream Puffs. Cut the baked puffs in half. Fill the base first with pastry cream just above the edge so the pastry cream shows. Top this with the slices of strawberries to cover the surface of the pastry cream. Pipe a layer of whipped cream on the strawberry slices and then top with the other half of the cream puff. Finally, dust the tops of the strawberry cream puffs with powdered sugar. The cream puffs can be enjoyed right away or prepared a few hours before serving kept cool in the fridge. This is so delicious served chilled.

    NOTES/TIPS:
    You can prepare the pastry cream the day before. Freshly baked puffs are the best to use because the insides are soft and the exterior of the puffs are crisp. And Hans says: “don’t take a short cut and use canned whipped cream—it’s not thick enough.”