March 25, 2014

Key Lime Eclairs

Key lime is one of the few flavors that can tempt me away from chocolate, so these eclairs from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen caught my eye. I made them for our church's fish dinner when the desserts needed to be "green."

I was quite impressed with myself and my ability to recreate these. I didn't manage any pictures before the required taste testing and delivery of the goods. I do plan to try eclairs again with a different flavor combo, so perhaps I'll manage pictures then.

Key Lime Eclairs
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup water
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
4 large eggs, whisked
Key Lime Cream
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup key lime juice
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silipat, and set aside.

Prepare your filling first by whisking together the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and key lime juice in a medium saucepan. Cook until it's hot but not boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and strain through a sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate about an hour, until cooled and thickened.

While that is chilling, prepare your eclairs. In a medium saucepan, heat butter, sugar, salt and water over medium heat until the butter is melted, but do not boil. Add the flour, and stir until it forms a stiff batter. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to look more like a dough. Keep stirring for several minutes until it becomes matte and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan.

Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium low for one minute. Add the whisked eggs gradually. Once they've all been added, change the mixer speed to medium high, and beat just until dough is glossy.

Using a pastry bag with a 1-inch round tip, pipe strips about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until the pastries start to turn golden brown, and then turn oven down to 325°F to continue baking until they are entirely brown.

Remove pastries from the oven, and poke a small hole in each pastry to let steam escape. Let cool completely on the pans set on wire racks.

Place a metal mixing bowl and the mixer's whisk attachment in your freezer for about 5 minutes. Pour the cold cream in the bowl, and whisk on high speed until a thick whipped cream is formed. Fold into the chilled key lime custard until no streaks remain.

Split eclair shells, and fill with key lime custard. Makes about 20 small eclairs.

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