Spiced Honey and Pear Choux Buns
These Choux Buns are a perfect little autumnal treat! Choux pastry is know for being a little more challenging, but with the right recipe and understanding, it is so simple! I will give you some top tips to achieve the best choux pastry in this blog post. These buns are filled with a pear compote topped with a spiced honey custard. So yummy! I've used Honey made in Salisbury for this recipe, you can find this from The London Honey Company. It works so well with the pears and spices, with it's subtle floral and fruity notes, it complements the flavours of the choux buns perfectly!
Here are some Top Tips to get the best Choux pastry:
Weigh out all the ingredients prior to making the pastry. This will make it so much easier, especially when you have to work fast.
Make sure the butter has melted before the milk comes to the boil. It is important the butter has been melted otherwise the choux pastry will be tough and nor light and fluffy.
You need to cool down the mixture before adding the eggs! If you don't leave it to cool, you run risk of cooking the eggs and then when they are baking, the eggs are already cooked and won't expand any more.
Don't be tempted to keep opening the oven to check on them, the more you open the oven, the steam will be released and the buns are more likely to collapse.
And finally, make sure they are lovely and golden brown. It is very common to under bake choux pastry and therefore they slowly deflate when you take them out of the oven. If in doubt, always add a couple extra minutes to the time you think they are ready.
You will need a piping bag and 2 cm round nozzle
110g Plain flour
75g Softened butter
90g Plain Flour
4 Pears (400g)
50g Salisbury Honey
1 Bramley Apple
1 tbsp. Water
Spiced Honey Custard:
125ml Whipping Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Mixed spice
30g Salisbury Honey
2 Egg Yolk
30g Plain Flour
75g Unsalted Butter
200g Whipping Cream
Firstly, let's make the craquelin. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and butter. Mix until a dough is formed. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between two pieces of baking paper. Roll to a thickness of 2mm.
Once, the dough is rolled, use a 5-6cm round cutter and cut discs in the dough, but don't remove them! Place the sheet into the freezer and leave there until required.
Now let's make the choux pastry. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Place the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter in a pan. Slowly bring to the boil, making sure the butter has melted before it boils.
Immediately once it boils, quickly add in the flour. With the pan still on the heat, stir in the flour and cook until the paste comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a dough. Pour this into the bowl of a free standing mixer and leave to cool slightly.
Now with the paddle attachment in the mixer, gradually add the eggs to the dough. The pastry should now be dropping consistency.* This is when you take a spoon of the pastry, and turn it on its side, it should take about 5 seconds to fall off the spoon.
Place the choux into a piping bag with a round nozzle (2cm wide). On a baking tray greased with butter, pipe the choux into round blobs of about 3.5cm in diameter. Now take out the craquelin from the freezer and place the cut discs on top of the choux. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 mins until they have puffed up and are golden brown.
Now to make the Custard. In a pan, place the milk, cream and vanilla and spices. Bring to the boil.
In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, honey and egg yolk until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the flour.
Gradually, add the milk to the egg mixture, then pour it all back into the pan. Bring to the boil, making sure to whisk at all times to stop the bottom burning.
Once it has been boiling for 30 seconds or so, take off the heat and pour into a bowl. Leave to cool for a couple minutes then add the softened butter with a whisk, making sure it is all combined. Cover with cling film making sure the cling film is in contact with the custard so that it doesn’t form a skin. Place in the fridge until completely chilled and has set.
Whilst the custard is setting. Let’s make the pear compote. Chop the pears and apples into small cubes and place into a saucepan. Add the honey and water and bring to the boil. Continue to cook until the fruit has softened but not completely mushy. Take off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Whip the 200g Whipping Cream to medium peaks. Once the Custard has set, fold the cream into the custard. Make sure not to over mix, otherwise the cream will lose volume.
Now for the assembly. Using a serrated knife, cut the tops off the Choux buns and set aside. Spoon 1-2 tsp. of pear compote into the base of the buns. Fill a piping bag with a star nozzle, then fill with the custard. Starting from the middle, pipe a swirl around on top of the choux bun. Place the cut tops of the choux on top.
They are best eaten immediately, but will last a day stored in the fridge in an airtight container.