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Vanilla Cream-Filled Eclairs

Yield 1 dozen
Choux paste is the French name for this tender pastry; we've simplified it by using piecrust mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to Make It

  1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan. Gradually whisk in half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Cover and chill 4 hours.

  2. Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Omit 2 tablespoons butter, and stir in 1/3 cup creamy peanut Butter.

  3. Coffee Pastry Cream: Stir 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules in with half-and-half.

  4. Grand Marnier Pastry Cream: Omit vanilla extract, and stir in 2 tablespoons orange liqueur.