A citrus twist on classic French éclairs, using a gorgeous lemon curd cream to fill the light choux pastry buns. To make them all the more decadent the éclairs are topped with a dollop of whipped meringue and lightly toasted for a crisp, golden topping.
Heat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C.
To make the eclairs, put the milk in a pan with 80ml (3fl oz) water. Add the butter, salt and sugar. Heat slowly until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil and when the whole surface is boiling with large bubbles, remove from the heat and add the flour all at once.
Stir well until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan clean. Return the pan to a medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture no longer sticks to the pan or the spoon. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
Gradually beat in half the eggs. Lift a little of the mixture with the spoon and, if it falls off with a clean break, then it is ready. If it does not fall off at all then keep adding a little egg at a time until the right consistency is obtained. The mixture must be firm enough to hold its shape when piped.
Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm (1in) plain nozzle. Holding the bag at a 45-degree angle, pipe eight 14cm (6in) long eclairs onto a non-stick baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Take the eclairs out briefly and pierce each one with a skewer or sharp knife. Reduce the oven to gas 2, 150°C, fan 130°C and leave the eclairs to dry out for 30–40 minute, until they are crisp and dark golden brown.
To make the filling, whisk the cream until thick but not stiff. Stir in the lemon curd. Carefully slit the eclairs along the sides. Fill each one with the lemon cream.
When ready to serve, make the topping. Reconstitute the egg white according to packet instructions, and whisk until frothy. Then whisk in the sugar a little at a time, until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Using a piping bag fitted with a medium to large star nozzle, pipe a wiggly line on top of each eclair.
Either use a cook’s blow torch or place the eclairs briefly under a hot grill to brown the top.
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As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.