Yesterday after knitting I went out to the local garden shop and bought annuals to put in the planters on the deck. They’ve been looking rather forlorn but after last year’s May 21st frost I wanted to wait until late in the month to fill them. Jason likes petunias but the front garden where I used to plant them is full of perennials so this year I’ve added them to the pots.
The sun came out when I got home with my plants and shone fiercely while I worked outside. When I was finished and went in to cool off and make some lemonade the clouds rushed in and it began to thunder, a rare occurrence up here. We had some sprinkles and briefly some rain and by dinnertime we had this lovely sky. I’m sure that was just meant to water in the seeds I’d just planted. I planted the nasturtiums but I still need to plant the zinnias just as soon as I sort out where they will fit.
When I was a little girl I had a full set of Raggedy Ann and Andy books. In one of the stories Raggedy Ann and the other dolls get into trouble with cream puffs and after reading that one I asked mom to make me some. We may have also done salt water taffy once but it’s the cream puffs I remember most clearly.
Last night when Jason brought up dessert I remembered Mom’s cream puffs and came up with these.
Cream puffs with
Cream puff shells:
1 cup water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 pinch salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with
In a small saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, and
sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the flour, all at once,
with a wooden spoon. Place the pan back over low heat and cook 2 minutes longer
while continuing to stir. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the eggs
with a wooden spoon, one at a time until thoroughly blended.
Transfer the dough into a Ziploc bag with a small piece of
the corner cut off. Pipe the dough into small mounds on the parchment lined
baking sheet forming mounds about 2 inches in diameter and spacing them a
little apart as they will puff a bit when baked. You should have a few dozen
mounds when all the dough is used. Dipping your finger in water you can smooth
down the points on top if desired.
Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup sugar
Whisk together the cornstarch and ¼ cup milk. Add remaining
milk and bring to a boil over medium heat while constantly whisking. Cook 1
minute at a boil then remove from heat. Lightly beat the egg, yolk, and sugar.
While beating, add some of the milk mixture a little at a time to temper the
eggs then combine the egg mixture with the milk mixture and return to the heat
for 1 minute. Refrigerate until completely cool or quick cool the sauce in a
bowl of ice water. Strain through a sieve before serving.
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup water
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and sliced
Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, water, and Grand Marnier
in a small saucepan over low heat. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil,
whisking until the sauce clears and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in
strawberries. May be served immediately or cooled to room temperature.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vanilla sauce
Beat the whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form,
gradually add the sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form. Fold in the
To assemble the cream puffs, slice off the tops and spoon in
the filling. Arrange puffs on a plate with vanilla and strawberry sauce, sprinkle
with a few poppy seeds.