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Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Maple Caramel Glaze


So, we turned back our clocks last week and I was NOT ready for that. I mean, is any food blogger ever really ready for that drastic one hour loss of natural lighting? It's devastating, every single time. And especially for those who aren't full time bloggers, like myself, I'm struggling to find time in my days to bake and photograph. Thankfully, cream puffs are something you can prep for ahead of time.
I made this delicious pumpkin cream filling, as well as the phenomenal maple caramel sauce a day before. So, all that was left to do was to bake some pate-a -choux, and fill 'em up. I usually pipe my pate-a-choux with a bag, but I recently discovered that a cookie scoop does the job just as well. And, you can guarantee they're going to be the same size and somewhat of the same shape.
For all you pumpkin lovers out there, these cream puffs are for you. They are amazing. The sprinkle of fleur de sel on top really takes the flavor to the top. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to refrain from eating every single one.

Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Maple Caramel Glaze

Yield: Approximately 24 cream puffs
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Ingredients:

For the pastry (pate a choux):
1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs (should amount to 1 cup)

For the pumpkin cream:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks, beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold

For the maple caramel sauce:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy cream

Fleur de sel, for garnish

Directions:

Prepare the pumpkin cream filling first.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to combine. Add milk and beaten egg yolks; whisk to combine. Turn on stove top to medium heat and whisk mixture continuously until it comes to a boil. Cook for an additional minute, or until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in pumpkin, butter, and vanilla extract until mixture is smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on surface of the cream to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate.

Prepare maple caramel sauce by adding all ingredients to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-heat until sauce starts to bubble. Continue to whisk sauce over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until it has reduced by a third. Pour into a heat-safe glass jar and set aside.

Whip 1/2 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Remove pumpkin cream from fridge and gently fold in whipped cream, just until incorporated. Return to fridge.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil, then pour in flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to allow it to cool down slightly.

With food processor on, add eggs one at a time through the chute, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick custard.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out mounds of dough and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cream puffs are completely cooled, slice them in half and fill with pumpkin cream. Drizzle with maple caramel sauce and garnish with fleur de sel. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

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