I struggled with this recipe. I have made cream puffs before without any issue, but this time I tried the pastry three times without success and ended up going to another recipe for the cooking times. I realized when I had success before it was with a recipe from the Joy of Cooking. In their recipe it calls for a hotter oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature and bake for another 30 minutes, which is more than double the baking time in Around my French Table. I wish I had had more experience with pate a choux before this recipe and then I would have realized that they weren’t anywhere near done when I was taking them out of the oven and that’s why they were deflating 🙁
It seemed like there are others who had success with the recipe as printed, but the baking times did not work for me. At least now I feel like I have lots of pate a choux experience! I was really keeping my fingers crossed for the last batch because I had used all of our eggs. And voila – success! The picture is actually from batch two because I didn’t want to wait for batch three to cool down, but these are the only two that did not deflate. In my final round of baking last night all of the eclairs stayed puffy. Thank goodness!
The pastry cream came together easily. It thickened so quickly that I was afraid my eggs had curdled, but I whisked and whisked and it turned out just fine.
I think it’s going to take me a while to get over my eclair failures and want to make these again, but they were so good and now that I know the reason for my failures the recipe may be calling my name sooner than I think.
*What is French Fridays with Dorie? An online cooking group dedicated to working our way through Dorie Greenspan’s newest book, Around My French Table. We try a new recipe each week and post about it on Fridays. If you’re interested you can pick up a copy of the book and follow along with us here.