Makes 12 eclairs
- 1 ½ cups (340 grams) heavy cream, divided
- 5 ounces (142 grams) cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) sour cream or Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/3 cup (78 grams) water
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) whole milk
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.6 grams) salt
- 5 1/3 tablespoons (75 grams) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 3/4 cup (97 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 large (150 grams) eggs
- 2 cups (230 grams) confectioners’ sugar (plus more, if needed)
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Filling:
- In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup of the cream with the cream cheese and ½ cup sugar over medium heat, whisking frequently until the cream cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup cream with the sour cream, remaining ¼ cup sugar and vanilla extract until it forms medium peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture one-third at a time along with the citrus zest. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mousse for at least 2 hours, until firm enough to pipe.
Make the Choux Paste:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a baking sheet. With a pencil, draw a pair of crosswise lines 4 ½ inches apart on one side of the paper (this will help you pipe perfectly even eclairs). Do the same on the other side of the parchment paper. Place the paper, pencil lines down, on the baking sheet.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, sugar, salt and butter and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a silicone spatula until the flour is completely incorporated and the mixture pulls away from the side of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook for another 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly, to dry out the dough a bit (a thin film will form on the bottom of the saucepan). Transfer the paste to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and let it cool for 2 minutes.
- While mixing on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next Mix until you get a smooth, shiny dough that falls heavily from a spoon, about 2 minutes.
Pipe the Eclairs:
- Scrape the choux paste into a large pastry bag fitted with 5/8-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #7). Pipe out 4 1/2-inch long logs of the choux paste onto the sheet, leaving 2 inches between each éclair. Use your finger to smooth out the points on the surface of each éclair. (Leave the remaining choux paste in the pastry bag until the first batch of eclairs has been baked.) Bake the éclairs one sheet at a time for 40 to 45 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet. Pipe out and bake more éclairs with the remaining batter.
Make the Glaze:
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the water, whisking until completely smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar you get the right consistency. If it’s too thick, add a few more drops of water. Cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
- 1 cup (113 grams) small strawberries, hulled and washed
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (if not using glaze)
- Cut the eclairs in half through the centers to form a top and bottom half. If you are glazing the tops, dip them in the glaze, letting the excess drip off. Refrigerate the éclair tops while to allow the glaze to set while you fill the bottoms.
- Slice the strawberries about ¼-inch thick. Scrape the mousse into a pastry bag fitted with a St. Honore tip (Ateco #880). With the slit in the tip facing up, pipe a tight squiggle of mousse down the length of each éclair bottom. Top each with 3 strawberry slices, then top with the other éclair halves. If you elected not to glaze the tops, dust them lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving.