Peaches & Marscapone Cream Eclairs with Amaretti Crumble & Caramel Sauce

While in culinary school I took a course on pastry.  I grumbled and whined when I saw that pastry was next on my course work.  You see as much as I love cooking, baking I can do without.   I know, I know, “But what about all the yummy desserts on your site?” you ask.  I make dessert because I love to eat dessert, but I don’t love to bake, not like I love to cook.  Many people think that if someone loves to cook that they also love to bake.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  A culinary chef and a pastry chef are two completely different breeds.  Pastry chefs are much more precise and methodical, it’s the science of baking.  Culinary chefs are more creative and off the cuff, kind of toss things together and let’s see what happens types.

Peach Eclairs

Of all the things I learned in pastry class there was one thing that was drilled into my head, how to make pate choux.  Making pate choux was part of our final and our instructor, Chef McCarley,  a very, very tall man with piercing blue eyes and a shaved head, made it a point that if the pate choux went flat you fail.  At first I was perplex as to why pate choux would be so important.  I just saw it as flavorless puff ball, but the truth is pate choux can become many wonderful things. It’s a light pastry dough used to make wonderful treats like profiteroles, croquembouches and éclairs. The dough can also be deep fried to make French crullers and beignets, yum!

What better vesel to use for the plethora of delicious peaches I had sitting in my refrigerator than an éclairs?  A puffy éclairs filled with marscapone cream, fresh peaches, amaretti cookie crumble and caramel sauce, who doesn’t want some of that?  I know I want some, in fact I may go have some after I finish writing this post.  Let me show you how to make your own.

Choux pastry dough is made of a few simple ingredients that all homes have on hand, butter, water, flour, eggs and salt.   Heat a small heavy bottom sauce pan over high heat, combine butter, water and salt, stirring until butter is melted.

Peach Eclairs

Add 3/4 cups of all purpose flour all at once to the butter mixture.

Peach Eclairs

Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides and forms into a ball.

Peach Eclairs

Transfer mixture to mixing bowl and let it cool for 5 minutes.  Add eggs slowly, beating well with an electric mixer at high speed.

Peach Eclairs

The mixture should be similar to a cake batter.

Peach Eclairs

Transfer pastry mixture to a piping bag or resealable plastic bag with the corner snipped.  It’s the MacGyver of piping bags.

Peach Eclairs

Pipe 8 5 in long, 1 inch wide strips on to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Peach Eclairs

Bake in a heated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  They will puff up and get a deep golden brown.  Turn oven off and leave in oven for another 15 mintues.  Don’t pull the eclairs too soon or they will collapse.  Remember if your éclairs go flat you fail.

Once they are done set them aside to cool completely.

Peach Eclairs

While the éclairs are in the oven work on the peaches.  I got my delicious Glohaven peaches from Livesay Orchard right here in Porter, OK.  Dice about 6 peaches, you want a total of 4 cups. Combine peaches with 1 tbs of cornstarch, 1 tbs of honey and a heaping teaspoon of finely chopped mint.

Peach Eclairs

Beside the sweet succulent peaches, you must get your hands on some amaretti Italian cookies. These little cookies are crisp and packed with almond flavor, but be careful their “popablility”  is dangerously addictive.  Especially after a little smear of mascarpone cream.  Not that I have ever sat down with a tub of mascarpone cream, amaretti cookies and a cup of coffee for breakfast.

Peach Eclairs

Combine cookies, almonds, flour, and sugar in processor. Pulse until cookies and almonds are coarsely chopped. Add 3 tablespoons chilled butter to processor. Pulse crumble mixture until moist clumps form.

Peach Eclairs

Transfer peaches to a 9 x 9 baking pan.

Peach Eclairs

Top peaches with amaretti crumble. Bake in a heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Peach Eclairs

Once golden brown and crisp, set aside and let cool.

Peach Eclairs
Now the cream of the crop, literally, sweet soft mascarpone cream.

Peach Eclairs

In the bowl of a stand mixture combine 8 oz of mascarpone cream, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream 2 tbs of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Peach Eclairs

Whip it until thick and creamy, then stick your finger and licked – it’s goooood!

Peach Eclairs

Time to assemble this scrumptious treat of juicy peaches, amaretti crumble and mascarpone cream.  What the heck, let’s drizzle some caramel sauce over it too.  If you going to go for it, go all the way.

Halve éclairs horizontally. Put bottom halves of éclairs on plates and top with whipped cream and peach crumble, then cover with top halves of éclairs. Drizzle plates with caramel sauce and dig in.

Holly good golly Miss Molly!  Can you say yum!  Puffy pastry filled with lightly sweeten whipped mascarpone cream, topped with succulent baked peaches, a hint of mint, sweet crunchy amaretti cookie crumble and gooey caramel sauce.  Slap your mama and duck for cover, just say’n.
I know there are a lot of elements and steps to this recipe but you can make most of it ahead of time making it a lot easier.  You must make this, seriously you must.
 
Peaches & Mascarpone Cream Eclairs with Amaretti Crumble & Caramel (adapted from Gourmet 2007)

choux pastry

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs

peach crumble

  • 4 cups diced peaches
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tsp minced mint
  • 10 amaretti cookies
  • 6 tablespoons whole natural almonds
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
mascarpone whipped cream
  • 8 oz mascarpone cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbs of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

choux pastry:

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in upper third. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat a small heavy bottom sauce pan over high heat, combine butter, water and salt, stirring until butter is melted.  Add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Slowly add beaten eggs, beating well with an electric mixer at high speed.

Transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe 8 (5-inch-long) strips (about 1 inch wide) onto baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart.

Bake éclairs 15 minutes, until golden, puffed, and crisp, turn oven off and leave éclairs about another 15 minutes.  Halve an éclair horizontally: If still moist inside, return éclairs to oven and dry 5 minutes more. Cool éclairs completely on a rack, about 25 minutes.

* Can be made a day ahead, store in a resealable plastic bag or air tight container.

peach crumble:

Combine cookies, almonds, flour, and sugar in processor. Pulse until cookies and almonds are coarsely chopped. Add 3 tablespoons chilled butter to processor. Pulse crumble mixture until moist clumps form.

In a small bowl combine peaches, cornstarch, honey and mint, mix until well combined.  Transfer peaches to a 9 x 9 baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, top peaches with amaretti cookie crumble.

Bake in heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown and crisp, set aside to cool.

mascarpone cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixture combine 8 oz of mascarpone cream, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream 2 tbs of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Beat at high speed until thick and creamy.

Can be make a day ahead, cover and store in refrigerator. 

Assemble éclairs:

Halve éclairs horizontally. Put bottom halves of éclairs on plates and top with whipped cream and peach crumble, then cover with top halves of éclairs. Drizzle plates with caramel sauce.

Comments

  1. Molly St. Clair says

    Oh, DELISH! I love the idea of the amaretti crumble!
    And I TOTALLY understand your first paragraph; I, too, adored cooking in culinary school, but baking? The pastry program can do that, I’d rather glove-cut a cornish game hen.

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