I know the old blog has been very Pumpkin Heavy these days, so I think I will call this the last of the series. Until I do more. Okay?
We had a get-together at Friend MaryLou’s house a couple of Sundays ago, and the theme of the evening (we always have a theme) was Food You Can Eat With Your Hands. I made some lovely lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce to be jabbed with a toothpick for ingestion, and for dessert, I made these little guys–pumpkin profiteroles. Lovely, not only because they are alliterative, but because when you bite into them, you are rewarded with a mouthful of yummy pumpkin pastry cream. Try them; I think you’ll like them.
Haven’t worked with pâte a choux much? Fear not; I am here to help with an episode of PMAT Live!
As a bonus, this recipe makes about 36 puffs but more pastry cream than you’ll need to fill them, so you’ll have leftover cream for Just Plain Eating. You’re welcome.
- ½ cup (4 ounces) water
- 1.75 ounces unsalted butter
- scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 2.5 ounces all purpose flour
- 2-3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (I used demerara)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- heavy pinch apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
- several gratings of fresh nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
- In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter, salt and sugar just to a full boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and dump flour in all at once.
- Stir vigorously until incorporated. The dough will be the consistency of mashed potatoes.
- Cook, stirring, for a minute or two to dry the dough just a bit.
- Remove from heat and stir to cool down a bit. You may also transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. If using a mixer, turn it on medium-low to allow the dough to cool.
- Either by hand with a wooden spoon or in a mixer, mix in the first egg. Stir and stir, because it will take a bit to force the egg to mix with the heavy dough.
- When the egg is completely incorporated, add the second egg and mix in. Check the dough--it should just barely flow. Refer to the video for the proper consistency. If the dough is a little dry still, break the third egg into a bowl and beat it well. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of beaten egg at a time until the dough is Just Right.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (or a zip top bag) with the dough. Squeeze out small mounds of dough on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and bake at 300F for another 10-15 minutes, or until the sides of the puffs are firm. Only check them after 15 minutes total baking time to keep them from falling.
- When done, remove and let cool on racks. Fill with pastry cream and refrigerate until serving time, no more than 4 hours.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except for vanilla and whipping cream.
- Bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Mixture will be extremely thick. Once it boils, continue to cook and whisk for another minute.
- Immediately pour mixture into a fine mesh strainer and push through into a bowl. Stir in vanilla.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cold. To speed things up, you can also stir the pastry cream over an ice bath.
- Whip the cream to medium peaks. Stir in a portion of the pastry cream, and then whisk all the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.
- Fit a pastry bag with a star tip (the sharp points of a star tip will help to cut a hole in the bottom of the profiterole to fill it).
- Pipe each puff full of pumpkin pastry cream. Serve as is or dust with powdered sugar. You can also make a cream cheese drizzle if you want, but these puffs are pretty rich and yummy on their own. You won't even miss the glaze. Promise.