This time of year we’re all looking for easy, versatile dishes to satisfy a crowd, and choux pastry is a great one to start with. Choux (pronounced “shoo”) pastry is a thick batter that’s cooked on the stove top and then fashioned into a variety of shapes using a pastry bag. After baking in a hot oven, the choux is transformed into delicate shells, the base for gougères, profiteroles and éclairs.
For a savory appetizer, add grated cheese and minced herbs into the pastry dough. For dessert, split each baked pastry open and fill with ice cream or whipped cream, then drizzle with chocolate sauce.
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup water
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
|Boil the liquid
Position 2 racks evenly in the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, water, butter and salt and bring to a full boil.
|Add the flour all at once
When the butter melts, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until blended.
|To shape logs:
Fit a pastry bag with a 3/4-inch plain tip and pipe out logs 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Space the logs at least 2 inches apart to allow for expansion.