P&Q: vanilla eclairs

So super excited about this one! I have one issue. My oven is broken. Oh no, right?!? A baker’s worst nightmare. It was supposed to be repaired on Friday, but the appliance repair company called and pushed it back to this Wednesday. Hoping it is fixed in time to whip these up!

While you may think these will be super hard to make, they are not. Its so much easier than you think. Can’t wait to see all your lovely eclairs!

Problems or questions, ask them here. :)


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32 Responses to “P&Q: vanilla eclairs”

  1. Adriana April 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM #

    Just got back from the baking supplies store to get a big pastry bag and a suitable tip. The largest I could find was 1/2 inch. I hope that works out. I’m a pastry bag newbie and a little intimidated by the process.

  2. RedsKitchenDiaries April 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM #

    I have to go through my pastry tips – if worse comes to worse, I may be making eclair-lettes – actually, as I think about it, I may do that, anyway, and take them to work :-)

  3. KarenP April 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM #

    I guess I better read the recipe to find out what kind of equipment I need – I’m guessing I don’t have the right pastry tip!

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to make these next week because I’ll be going out of town, but I plan on making them the following week because I really want to make them!

  4. Dorie April 10, 2011 at 5:53 PM #

    Don’t worry about the pastry bag and the size of the tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use a zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the dough in the bag (don’t fill it all the way), seal the bag and then snip off one of the corners.

    I hope you have fun with the recipe!

  5. MsHobby April 10, 2011 at 6:25 PM #

    I made the eclairs on Saturday. I had been nervous about making them, but it really wasn’t that hard. When making the cream, I was whisking and when it started to go from liquid to solid I was worried I wasn’t doing it right at first, but everything turned out just fine.

  6. XOXO727 April 10, 2011 at 9:23 PM #


    • Cher April 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM #

      Welcome aboard! Dorie gives several ideas for variations – have fun with it! (Personally, I went with vanilla cream w/ fiora di sicilia flavoring & chocolate-espresso ganache on top).

    • KarenP April 11, 2011 at 2:32 PM #

      You can do it however you’d like. That’s one of the fun things about this group – you get to see how everyone else interpreted the recipe!

  7. creolekid April 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM #

    I am really looking forward to these, but I should have made them today. Now I am thinking of an occasion during the week for which they might be appropriate! Wednesday’s lunch may have to be the occasion, if for no other reason than that I intend to make these eclairs this week. But that’s a good enough reason.

  8. NYflourpower April 10, 2011 at 10:36 PM #

    I am really looking forward to these. Back from London just in time. I think just making the eclairs is reason enough but while I am back in NY my husband is in Las Vegas so they are for his welcome home dinner on Friday.

  9. Candy April 10, 2011 at 10:59 PM #

    If you are looking for something to do with the extra egg-whites, I’d suggest the coconut friands on page 456. If you use all of the whites, it will make 1-1/2 batches (about 3 dozen little cakes), but they are wonderful. And they keep for several days/freeze. I may try drizzling with a little chocolate (if they last that long!).

    Hope everyone enjoys making the eclairs!!!

  10. cdcooks April 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM #

    Mine sank in the centers when they cooled off. What did I do wrong? :(

    • Maya April 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM #

      Hiya, I made mine today and to prevent the pastry from deflating, I left them in the oven after cooking. Just turn the heat off, leave a wooden spoon wedged at the oven door to keep it ajar and voilà, they stayed puffed! Let them cool in there for about an hour, and the insides of the eclairs will be dry enough. Good luck!

    • speckleofdirt April 15, 2011 at 3:28 PM #

      I had the same problem. Someone else said that on the second batch they cooked them steady at 375 the whole time. I’m hoping to find out more!

  11. Monica April 11, 2011 at 4:04 PM #

    I made the chocolate pastry cream for these today – soooo delicious!

  12. Maya April 12, 2011 at 9:40 AM #

    Making these eclairs were easier than I thought. Dorie’s recipes for the pastry and the pastry cream are amazingly articulate, even my teenager can easily follow them!

  13. laurcl April 12, 2011 at 11:26 PM #

    I actually had egg yolks left over from buttercream I made this past weekend. These tasted great, but my pastry got soggy. I don’t think I cooked it long enough. When I was a kid, I used to make these often and I remember cooking them for much longer and at a lower temp, but the taste of these was so much better. I could really smell and taste the egg.

  14. LW April 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM #

    I am so incredibly ticked off. My oven which has been broken for 2 weeks was supposed to be repaired today. But, it needs a new coil, which needs to be ordered. No eclairs for me. :(

  15. stoutkitty April 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

    Well I made these this afternoon. The custard/cream is wonderful and sits in pretty bowls at the moment waiting to be eaten after dinner tonight. Sadly I must have done something really wrong with the pastry part. I was hoping to see them really puff up but they didn’t. The one thing I noticed is the different oven temps for the recipes. It’s lower for the eclair recipe but the pastry recipe was higher. Which one did everyone follow? I did the eclair one. I’ll have to try this one again next week if I get a free minute. I have to say it was easy so I am not so worried about the next time. I have dessert phobia. lol

    • creolekid April 13, 2011 at 5:41 PM #

      Do you have an over thermometer? My baking disasters have (almost) always been related to inaccurate or uneven temperatures.

  16. Newfinmysoup April 13, 2011 at 5:18 PM #

    Also disappointed with deflation issues, since I’m making these for a surprise limo ride and day with the girls tomorrow morning, for a friend’s birthday. I made Frangelico/Espresso pastry cream which tastes wonderful, but my eclairs are flat. I think opening the oven door to rotate the sheets let too much heat out, and they don’t appear to be fully cooked inside (they did puff beautifully at first). I’m going for round 2 after dinner, and keeping the oven door closed, and then propping it with a wooden spoon for the remainder of the cooling process. I’ve made Barefoot Contessa’s before and they turned out fine.

    • creolekid April 13, 2011 at 5:47 PM #

      Sounds like a good plan of action. They need the heat so that they puff, and then they need a bit milder heat so that they fully cook inside while they don’t overly brown (or burn) on the outside.

      I have to admit I’ve only baked pate a choux a few times. But I’ve followed the advice I’ve read, and have worked a lot with puff pastry in the same way, and it’ always works very well. I’m making these tomorrow to post on Friday… I’d best take my own advice as I’m working with a new oven and am not familiar with it yet.

    • creolekid April 14, 2011 at 1:09 PM #

      After all that mine came out completely deflated!

      I had to make them again, and just left the oven at 375, left them in longer, and they came out fine.

  17. Newfinmysoup April 13, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

    I compared Barefoot Contessa’s recipe and it is almost exactly the same, but uses 1 cup of whole milk instead of 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water (I didn’t like the water part the first round). Also, baking time is 20 minutes at 425 F, turn off oven, and let coast in oven for 10 minutes. Then take out, poke a little steam vent in the side, and allow to cool. They look beautiful, golden, and very puffed this time. Didn’t open the door to rotate, but only used one baking sheet. Can’t wait to fill with luscious pastry cream and eat with our champagne in the limo tomorrow morning ;-)

  18. Bandolorra April 14, 2011 at 5:26 AM #

    I made these last night. Did anyone put both pans in at the same time? I moved the top pan down and bottom one up because my bottom pan was not browning as much. The bottom pan (once moved to the top) puffed up nicely and stayed that way, however the top pan after I moved it to the bottom deflated :( But they taste fabulous!

  19. Jacquelyn April 14, 2011 at 4:12 PM #

    Planning on making mine tomorrow, but I’m getting a bit nervous with all the deflating issues & oven variations….of course, live & learn- they are still bound to be deliciously divine!

  20. XOXO727 April 14, 2011 at 7:02 PM #

    Next question LOL-is there a place to share our blogs when our post is published??

  21. Vegan Thyme April 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM #

    I didn’t have faith in myself for this one, though I REALLY wanted to give it a vegan try–however, failure right now would have just done me in.


  1. Eclairs | From Scratch - April 19, 2011

    […] or large tip, so I improvised with a plastic zip-lock bag (as recommended by Dorie herself on the Eclairs P&Q).¬† I haven’t done much piping, so I was a little nervous, but it worked […]

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