I’ve been working on this idea for earl grey eclairs for a while now-my mother in law helped me test the first round of the recipe at Christmas! I was super happy with the flavors from the get-go, but the creme patissiere (creme pat) gave me some trouble. It took four tries to get the consistency right, but I’ve got it now!
IMHO, eclairs are one of those things that feel fancy, so they automatically seem intimidating. I think there are only two things to look out for, and once you get past those hurdles everything else is super easy. The first is when you’re making your creme pat. You want to be really careful not to scramble the eggs when you’re whisking in the hot cream. The trick there is to go slow, and whisk constantly. The second thing to look out for is the consistency of your choux dough. You don’t want it to be too runny or your eclair cases won’t puff in the oven. When you add the eggs to your dough, beat them in with an electric beater or a whisk, NOT a spoon. This will help get some air in the dough. Depending on the size of your eggs, you may need 3 or 4. You’re looking for the dough to stick to itself and for a V shape as it hangs from your spatula, like this:
The rest is easy-mostly just stirring, baking, and filling. I think it’s very relaxing and satisfying. Make sure to have someone to share your earl grey eclairs with when they’re done! They can be stored in the fridge, but the glaze and the pastry will get kind of soggy. This is one of those things that’s really best eaten the day it’s made.
If you make these earl grey eclairs, please let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you, either in the comments below or on social media 🙂
Earl Grey Eclairs
For the Earl Grey Creme Patissiere
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 earl grey tea bags
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp flour
For the Choux Pastry
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3-4 eggs
For the Lemon Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
Make the creme patissiere
- Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just before boiling. You should be seeing little bubbles around the edge of the pan, but not in the middle. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, and let steep until cool, about one hour.
- Once the tea is steeped, discard the tea bags.
- Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until combined and starting to pale, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the corn starch and flour.
- Heat the tea-steeped milk over medium-low heat again until just before boiling.
- Add the milk to the egg mixture a splash at a time, whisking constantly. Err on the side of less milk added each time, and make sure you don't stop whisking. Keep adding the milk a little at a time until it is all mixed into the egg mixture. Then return the whole mix to the pot on the stove.
- Heat on the stove over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and hold the marks of the whisk. This should take 3-5 minutes. If it thickens unevenly you may see some lumps forming. Don't panic! Keep whisking until they work themselves out. Make sure to scrape the bottom of your saucepan so you don't have any clumps sticking and burning at the bottom.
- Remove the creme patissiere from the heat. If you have any lumps that aren't whisking out, strain it, then put it in a bowl. Cover the top with a bit of plastic wrap, pressing the wrap right into the surface of the creme. This will help keep a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge until fully cool and ready to use.
Make the Choux Pastry
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Heat the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.
- Add the flour and beat until a doughy clump forms and doesn't stick to the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Add the first three eggs and beat until fully combined. Check your dough consistency by dipping a spatula in and letting the dough drop back into the bowl. You're looking for some to hang off the spatula in a V shape. If you don't have the V, beat in the last egg and check again.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag with a wide tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off). Pipe 4 inch long logs on your baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for the choux to expand when it bakes.
- Bake the choux for 35 minutes, until puffed and brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool until the choux is just cool enough to handle. Then pierce the ends of each eclair case with a skewer to allow the steam to escape. Leave to cool completely until ready to assemble.
Assemble and Ice the Eclairs
- To assemble, transfer the fully cooled creme patissiere to a piping bag. Poke the tip of your piping bag through the bottom of an eclair case and pipe in creme pat until it starts squeezing back out around your piping tip. If you don't have a piping bag, slice the eclairs in half like you would a hot dog bun and fill them that way.
- Make the lemon icing by whisking the powdered sugar and the lemon juice until all the lumps are worked out.
- Ice the eclairs by dunking them top-down into the bowl of glaze. Leave them to set until the glaze is dry, then enjoy! Uneaten eclairs can be stored in the fridge for a day or two, but the icing will get a little soggy.