Sometimes a new recipe is a winner, sometimes not so much. This one is awesome. My dinner guests may or may not have been licking their plates afterward. Definitely a winner for a fall dinner party. They’ll ooh, they’ll awe, they’ll think you’re amazing for making them these. And…I’m not even over selling them, they’re that good.
I started out making the cream puff part. Not easy, but the truly amazing results made it worth it. I’d never made choux pastry before -lots of stirring, and feeling very blessed to own a stand mixer. I used the classic Julia recipe.
Julia Child’s Profiteroles
- 1 cup water
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- Put the water, butter, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Take the saucepan off of the heat.
- Add the flour. Beat until everything comes together. Put back on the heat and beat vigorously until everything is off the sides of the pan. The dough will lump together and there will be a film on the bottom of the pan.
- Put the mixture into the bowl of a mixer or a large bowl. Beat until it breaks up a little. Add eggs one at a time. It might seem like it is not going to come back together, but keep mixing, it will.Transfer the batter into a piping bag -or just a ziplock bag and cut the corner off.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper -or spray with cooking spray. Pipe drops onto the baking sheet. Moisten your finger with water to smooth out the peaks.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They will be golden brown and puffed.
The cream puffs are amazing. They’re traditionally filled with whip cream or ice cream, but for a fall twist, I decided to use a pumpkin custard, and vanilla whipped cream. I adapted a recipe for pumpkin pastry cream I found at All Day I Dream About Food.
Pumpkin Pastry Cream
- 1 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Whisk together whipping cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt, then whisk in cornstarch until mixture becomes pale yellow and thick.
- Slowly whisk about half of the hot cream into the yolks to temper, then return the yolk/cream mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thick and glossy.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer to a small bowl and press plastic wrap flush to the surface. Chill.
And finally, I thought they should be topped with a caramel sauce. It was the right thing to do.
I started out with a chef recipe I found on-line, it looked do-able and I was bolstered by the fact that I had just successfully made cream puffs! My first caramel sauce was a complete fail. Burnt. Gross. Awful. I told Maddie that I ruined it, and she came to see for herself. She tasted a little and then declared “yeah Mom you burnt it.” The saddest thing about a recipe fail for me is the waste of ingredients, it had a cup of whip cream in it! So, I googled “EASY caramel sauce, half and half” -since I was running out of whip cream, but did have more half and half. And who should come to save the day, but the pioneer woman.
Easy Caramel Sauce -that lives up to it’s name!
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup half and half cream
- pinch Of salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- Mix butter, brown sugar, half & half, and salt in a saucepan over medium low heat. Cook while whisking gently until thicker.
- Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further.
To serve, slice the cream puffs and fill with a spoonful of pumpkin pastry cream, and a spoonful of vanilla whipped cream. Pop the lid back on and drizzle with warm caramel sauce. Next, receive the praise and admiration of your dinner guests.
With pumpkin filled cream puffs and caramel sauce, life truly is a party!