And poof! Summer is over. The kids were off to school today. Both are in the final years at their prospective schools. Our son is in 5th grade and our daughter is in 8th. Seems like we were just bringing our son to kindergarten. It can be bittersweet. We are so proud of the people our kids are becoming but childhood just flies by.
I wanted to make a summer dessert as a special treat for their last day of “freedom” and we had some fresh strawberries on hand. I thought cream puffs with a strawberry sauce would do the trick!
Choux pastry is easy to make, you just need a bit of elbow grease to make it happen. I referenced Julia Child for this recipe.
You will need:
1 cup water
6 Tablespoons of butter
a pinch of salt
a pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp of salt
3/4 cups of flour
Preheat the oven to 425F/220C
In a small saucepan combine the water, butter, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Bring to a boil to melt the butter.
Remove from the heat and add the flour stirring very well and continuously until the flour is incorporated.
Put it back on medium high heat, mixing the entire time, for a couple of minutes until the dough starts to leave a film on the pan.
Remove from the heat again and add the eggs one at a time. For the first egg you’ll need to move quickly so you don’t end up with cooked egg so stir fast. After the first egg is absorbed add the next one and so on.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag with a tip that is large enough for the size pastry you want. For example if you want 3″ pastry use a 3/4″ tip. Squeeze the pastry onto a greased cookie sheet. I made the mistake assuming that our baking sheet was nonstick enough. Don’t do that! Space the pastry dollops the same distance as the diameter of the dollops.
Beat one egg and dab the tops of the dollops without letting the egg drip down. You don’t want the egg to pin the pastry down.
If you are doing small pastries that are about an 1 1/2″ or smaller bake for 20 minutes. If you are doing larger pastries about 3″ then bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 375F/190C for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. For both sizes put an inch slit in the side of each puff and put it back in the oven with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 10 minutes. Julia Child did mention that if the dough in the larger puffs are still moist in the centre to scoop it out.
The strawberry sauce is super simple. In a small saucepan add strawberries, grated ginger, a bit of lemon juice, and 1/8 cup of brown sugar. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes to soften the strawberries and melt the sugar. Because I didn’t grease the baking sheet properly I ended up with puff cups rather than puff balls. So I turned them upside down and put in fresh whipped cream and topped with the strawberries.
A nice way to end the summer before getting back into the routine of school and the coming fall.