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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
  • Serves 15
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus cooling
Crushed strawberry and pistachio éclairs
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.