Choux pastry or pâte a choux are light, airy puffs that can be stuffed with a savory filling, like shrimp or roasted chicken liver and pancetta mousse, for a party appetizer or stuffed with sweet filling, like cream puffs. These little pastries serve as the base for a wide range of hors d'oeuvres and desserts, and once you get the hang of it, you'll make them all the time.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 choux pastries
- 1 cup whole milk
- Large pinch of salt (for savory choux)
- 2 teaspoons fine sugar (for sweet choux only)
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Combine the milk, salt, sugar (if using for sweet choux) and butter in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat, and dump in the flour all at once. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture rapidly, then put the saucepan back on the heat, and stir continually, and cook 1 minute. As the pastry dries, it will pull away from the side of the pan. Take the saucepan off the heat.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time. Don't add the next egg until the egg before has been fully incorporated. The mixture will thicken to a soft sticky paste. When all the eggs have been beaten in, scoop the paste into a pastry bag with a plain nozzle.
- Pipe the paste into small balls, about 1-½ to 2 inches in diameter, on the baking sheet. Space them apart so they don't touch. Moisten your forefinger with water and gently dab down the tip of each ball, then put the baking tray in the oven. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave the baking sheet in the oven, turn off the heat, leave the oven door open, and let the choux cool inside the oven.
- Carefully cut off the top of each choux ball with a paring knife and pipe or spoon in the savory or sweet filling.