Do you believe in magic of dreams? That everything we wish for is possible? That if we wholeheartedly want certain things to happen in our lives, the Universe will do its best to bring them to reality?
I certainly do think it’s true! My wildest dream right now is that some day soon a lot of people will find this blog helpful, decide to give home-baking a try, fall in love with it and we’ll create a community to uplift each other and share stories from our baking journeys.
And while my dream is being processed in the galaxy, let me tell you about these picturesque éclairs! First of all, they are open faced, meaning their interior is barely hidden. Secondly, their surface is a great canvas for a decorator inside you to go wild. And last but not least, they unite very provocative flavor combination — apricot & lavender! Are you already intrigued?
For the dough:
makes 2 large sheet pans
250 g water
5 g sugar
100 g butter, cut into pieces
150 g flour, sifted
4-5 large eggs
egg wash, for coating (an egg beaten with a pinch of salt)
To make a dough and find out all tips&tricks about baking perfect éclairs follow instructions from Cooper The Unicorn in this post. After baking, transfer pastries to the rack and let them completely cool before filling.
For the apricot curd:
270 g apricots, halved and pitted
3 egg yolks
100 g sugar
50 g butter
In a heavy bottom saucepan combine apricots and splash of water. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook apricots until they become soft. Puree fruits with a hand blender and let them cool a bit.
In a separate bowl combine sugar and egg yolks. Whisk thoroughly until the mixture is lightened and fluffy. Add eggs mixture to the pan with apricot puree and return it to the medium heat. Cook the cream constantly whisking until mixture thickens.
A nerdy note: to test that curd is ready, dip a spatula into mixture and holding it horizontally pull your finger across it. If the trail created with finger doesn’t close immediately, it’s ready.
Off the heat, whisk in pieces of butter into curd, until it’s smooth and homogenous. Transfer the curd into a clean bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate until use.
For the lavender cream:
250 g milk
1/4 tsp culinary lavender
50 g sugar
3 egg yolks
22 g cornstarch
20 g butter
200 g heavy cream, cold
In a heavy bottom pan combine milk, 25 g of sugar and dried lavender. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture becomes hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat, cover and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
In several hours strain the mixture through fine mesh, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Weigh the milk and add additional fresh milk to bring it back to 250 g. Return to the heat and cook until very hot but not boiling.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl combine the remaining sugar and cornstarch, whisk for a moment. In another bowl whisk thoroughly egg yolks. Combine eggs and dry ingredients and whisk together until the mixture is light and homogenous.
Once lavender infused milk is hot enough, pour 1/3 of it into eggs mixture and whisk well until combined. Add another portion of milk and whisk again. Pour the remaining milk and return the whole mixture back to the pan. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Off the heat thicken mixture by whisking it for about 2-3 minutes. Return to the heat and whisk vigorously at a boil for another 30 seconds.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in pieces of butter into cream, until it’s smooth and homogenous. Transfer cream to a clean shallow bowl and cover it with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Let the cream cool to the room temperature.
When you’re ready to assemble pastries, smooth lavender pastry cream with a whisk. Whisk cool heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks and using spatula carefully fold it into pastry cream. Transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (I used small petal tip).
2 apricots, cut into pieces
1 tsp coconut oil
In a small pan heat coconut oil and cook pieces of apricots until they become slightly soft but still hold the shape. Transfer to a plate and let them cool.
Assemble the éclairs:
With a serrated knife cut the top of an éclair to open its interior. Smooth apricot curd and transfer it to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
Pipe apricot curd into éclair to completely fill the pastry. Cover the curd piping lavender cream in an artistic pattern (imagine you’re drawing S letter without interruptions). Finish decoration with pieces of apricots and edible flowers. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to take a picture of your beautiful creations for instagram! 🙂
And if you do, please tag it with #bakenofake_madeit hashtag. I’ll be happy to see them!