Last week, I had the fun opportunity to make éclairs alongside Mom. Éclairs are Mom's favorite dessert, and the one she is best at (though her cakes and pies are mouth-watering as well). The writing in Mom's handwritten old recipe book was too unclear and smudgy for me to read, but I found a recipe online which looks very similar to what we used:
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Flour
Bring water, butter and salt to boil. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Beat over low heat until mixture leaves sides of pan. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat until satiny.
Drop three inches apart on ungreased sheet. Form 4 x 1 inch strips. Bake at 400F degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Keep from drafts. Slit tops of éclairs and fill with custard.
The exciting part about éclairs is that they are supposed to be hollow inside – and we never quite know in advance if they are or aren't. When we slit them and see that they are nice and puffy and hollow, it feels almost like winning the lottery.
Now, the filling is the best part – everyone can use their favorite filling of course, and any topping your heart desires. We simplified and used whipped cream with some cocoa powder. It was delicious! And as you will notice in the pictures below, we made them round, not elongated.
I wish I had taken a picture of those little fellows ready to be eaten, filled with cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar – but as soon as they were ready, we were too busy making tea and setting the table. Delicious and fun!