Strawberry and lemon thyme eclairs



Strawberry and lemon thyme eclairs
  • for the crunchy topping
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g plain flour
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • for the choux pastry
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 60ml water
  • 40g plain flour
  • 45g strong white bread flour
  • 2-3 large eggs, beaten
  • for the filling
  • 400g strawberries
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. To make the crunchy topping, mix together the sugar and the flour, add the butter and rub together until it forms a dough. Use your hand to press into a uniform dough. Place between two sheets of parchment and roll out until about 2mm thick. Place on a baking tray and freeze.
  2. To make the choux pastry, place butter, sugar, salt, milk and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Once at temperature pour in both flours and mix together with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball of dough and there is a dry layer on the base of the pan. Tip into a large bowl and set aside for 5 mins.
  3. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until combined before adding more. Add enough egg until the pastry is thick, glossy and has reached dropping consistency. Place pastry into a piping bag fitted with a plain round piping tip (roughly 1cm wide).
  4. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and draw ten 12cm lines onto the back of the parchment, 6 per sheet. Pipe the choux pastry into eclairs, using the lines as guides. Remove the crunchy topping from the freezer and cut into12cmx1.5cm strips. Place one on top of each eclair. Bake at 180C/Gas4 for about 30-35 mins or until the choux is golden brown. Set aside until cooled.
  5. To make the filling, hull 300g of the strawberries and cut into small dice. Mix with 1 tbsp of the sugar and the thyme. Set aside for 1 hour or so to macerate.
  6. Place cream, vanilla and remaining sugar into a large bowl and whisk until the mixture holds soft peaks.
  7. Cut eclairs through the middle and fill the base of each with the strawberries (leaving the juice in the bowl).
  8. Place the cream into a piping bag and pipe on top of the strawberries. Hull the remaining strawberries and cut into quarters, pressing into the sides of the cream. Top with the eclair lids and dust with icing sugar. Best served within a couple hours.


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