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Crushed strawberry and pistachio éclairs

Crushed strawberry and pistachio éclairs recipe- Preheat oven to 220C and line baking trays with baking paper.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 15
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Crushed strawberry and pistachio éclairs
Chocolate is hard to go past, but it's by no means the last word in éclair toppings and fillings. We've opted for a strawberry-flecked crème fraîche filling, contrasting with a crunchy caramel top scattered with pistachios - light, fresh and more than a little moreish.
For the choux pastry, see our basic choux recipe.

Ingredients

  • ½ quantity basic choux pastry
  • 300 gm caster sugar
  • Slivered pistachio nuts, for scattering
  • 200 gm strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 20 gm icing sugar
  • 20 ml Cointreau
Crushed strawberry cream
  • 50 gm strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 20 ml Cointreau (1 tbsp)
  • 60 gm icing sugar
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 300 gm crème fraîche
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Method

Main
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220C and line baking trays with baking paper. Make choux pastry (see recipe above), transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.2cm nozzle and refrigerate to cool and stiffen (30 minutes). Pipe 12cm lengths on prepared trays, leaving about 5cm between each for pastry to puff. With a wet finger, flatten any peaks on the choux pastry, then bake until puffed and light golden (6-8 minutes). Reduce oven to 170C and bake until golden brown and slightly crisp (8-10 minutes). Place upside down on a wire rack, pierce the base of each éclair with a skewer and cool completely.
  • 2
    Stir sugar and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, then bring to the boil and cook without stirring until beginning to caramelise (6-7 minutes). Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is evenly dark caramel. Remove from heat and quickly but carefully dip tops of éclairs into caramel. Place caramel-side up on a wire rack, sprinkle one end with pistachios and stand until caramel hardens.
  • 3
    For crushed strawberry cream, combine strawberries, Cointreau and half the icing sugar in a bowl and crush with a fork to combine. Whisk cream, crème fraîche, vanilla seeds and remaining icing sugar in a bowl to soft peaks, then fold in strawberry mixture to form a ripple effect. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.
  • 4
    Combine sliced strawberries, icing sugar and Cointreau in a bowl. Halve éclairs with a serrated knife, pipe crushed strawberry cream over bases, arrange sliced strawberries on top, sandwich with éclair tops and serve immediately.