Quick and easy pastry shells you can stuff with anything.
1 cup Water 6 tablespoons Butter 1 teaspoon Salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper Pinch of nutmeg 1 cup sifted all-purpose #our 4 eggs for the pâte à choux 1 egg, beaten, to tamp the tops of the puff pastries Butter or cooking spray to coat the baking sheets
Note: If you are making sweet puffs, omit the pepper, and reduce the salt from 1 teaspoon to a pinch.
Bring water to boil with the butter, salt, pepper (if making savory ones), sugar and nutmeg, and boil slowly until the butter has melted.
Measure the flour by putting a measuring cup on some wax paper, and sifting the flour over it until the cup is overflowing. Then level the top with the flat edge of a knife, or some such device.
Remove the butter mixture from the heat, and immediately pour in all the flour. Beat it with a wooden spoon for several seconds until it is thoroughly blended.
Return the pan to moderately high heat on the stove, and beat it with the wooden spoon until a mass forms and it pulls away from the sides. This should just take a minute or two.
Remove it from the heat, once again, and one at a time beat in the eggs until they have been absorbed. Don’t add another egg until the previous one is well combined.
Pipe or spoon little mounds about 1 1⁄2” wide and 1⁄2” tall onto a greased baking sheet. Then coat a spoon lightly with beaten egg and #atten the tops of the mounds ever so slightly. Do not let egg drip down the puff – or it won’t puff
Place in preheated 425 degree oven, and bake for 20 minutes or until they are about doubled in size and golden brown. Turn o! the oven.
Remove your beautiful puff pastries from the oven, slice a little hole in each one with a small knife, to release the steam, and then return them to the turned-off oven for 10 minutes or more to finish drying out.
At this point you can fill them with whatever you want. Pipe some soft ice-cream into them, and drizzle chocolate on them, like we did; slice the tops off and fill them with tuna salad, like we also did; fill them with a chocolate mousse…it’s up to you.
You can make these a bit ahead of time, if you like, and reheat them in a 425 degree oven for three minutes to crisp them back up, then put them together for your gathering.