Savory Eclairs with Crème Cheese and Fresh Herbs

For the dough:

250ml milk
60g butter
120g all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
3 middle sized eggs

For the filling:

300-350g cream cheese
100ml sour cream
A bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
A bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Few sprigs of green onions, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 200?/390F. Have your baking sheets ready lined with baking parchment. For this quantity of dough I needed two big sheets. Heat the milk with the butter in a suitable saucepan on medium heat. When it is hot enough (before boiling), add the flour, salt and sugar but don’t remove from the heat yet. Stir vigorously with wooden spoon until dough is consistent and starts separating from the sides of the saucepan. Continuously flatten and turn the ball of dough against the sides of the pan – the goal is to dry it as much as possible. At this point the dough is quite heavy and stirring is not easy, but the whole process should take you about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow cooling for about 5 minutes. When dough is no longer hot, add the eggs one by one. Beat (by hand or using mixer) until the egg is completely absorbed and only then add the next one. This step can take about 5-10 minutes and you will have smooth dough, stiff enough to hold a peak when a spoon is lifted out of it. Spoon the dough in small puffs (about ½ to 1 inch in diameter) or pipe strips for éclairs shells (mine are about 1½ – 2 inches long). Leave around 2 inches distance between the puffs to permit spreading. Savory puffs with crème cheese and fresh herbsMake sure to smooth any sharp-tipped ends of the dough with a wet finger, because they will burn easily. Bake in heated at 200C/390F oven for 15 minutes or until puff pastry acquires a nice golden color. Once the puff pastry becomes golden in color, turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Many recipes say that you need to turn the heath down and let them bake for 5-10 more minutes so remaining moisture inside evaporates, so they can become crispy throughout. Let them cool slowly (about 10-15 minutes) and then arrange them on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the cream cheese, cream and chopped very fine herbs and green onions. Season with some salt and few drops of lemon juice. When completely cooled, cut puff pastry with a sharp knife and fill with cream cheese. Once filled, regardless of the filling, puff pastry will gradually begin to soften. However, you can bake the puff pastries and fill them at a later stage. Without the filling the cooled pastries can be stored up to two days in tightly closed containers in the freezer.


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