I think I have a sugar addiction. After every dinner, I want a little something sweet to complete the meal. I blame it on my constant baking but someone has to taste test all the recipes, right? My latest creation is these blood orange eclairs. Yup, I am still lusting after citrus season and taking advantage of it every possible way. This meant using blood orange juice and zest to create the blood orange curd filling and the actual orange to make candied blood orange. Oh yeah, and can't forget the blood orange glaze. If you love oranges, I strongly urge you to try these eclairs. Or even if you just like oranges. They're good, I promise you.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Eclairs are such an indulgent dessert but this blood orange variation almost makes them feel lighter. The fresh orange flavor lifts up the pastry, almost, and I mean almost, makes you feel not as guilty eating 2 or 3 of them. That is the beauty of citrus desserts.
There are several components that complete these blood orange eclairs including the candied orange, blood orange curd, pate choux, and two different icings. Ready to get started?
Let's start with the item that takes the longest only because it needs to cool overnight: the candied orange. Slice the blood orange into paper-thin slices and cook them in a sugar water bath until the rind softens. Transfer the orange onto a wire rack to drain excess liquid and let it dry overnight. If you need to speed up the process, place the rack in a warm spot.
Next comes the pate choux. Pate choux is the name of the pastry used for items such as cream puffs, gougeres, churros, and eclairs. It's a simple dough with no leavening agent. The reason why it puffs up is because of the steam from the high moisture content. Use a little bit of elbow grease to beat the dough until smooth. Pipe the dough into 6 inch long lines on a baking sheet and watch the dough rise in the oven as it bakes. You can make these the day before if you like, just don't fill them until just before serving.
Now on to the blood orange curd, which can also be made the day before. Whisk all of the ingredients for the curd except for the butter and cook the mixture on a double boiler. Using a double boiler is the safest way to cook the eggs without them curdling. However, if you're feeling brave, you can cook the curd directly in a pot. Just be sure to cook the curd over low heat, whisking constantly.
Gently mix in the cooled orange curd with whipped cream. Don't overmix the two or the cream will become too loose and the filling too runny. Besides, doesn't it look prettier with streaks of orange?
Make the lime icing and blood orange icing and you're finally done! The lime icing will be quite thick since you don't want it running off the sides of the blood orange eclairs. The blood orange icing will be much thinner so that you can easily drizzle it on top. Finish the pastries with crumbled pistachios and the candied orange.
I had to give away most of these eclairs because I couldn't stop eating them. They are light but still full of delicious orange flavor with just a zing of lime and savory from the pistachios. All in all, a wonderful orange dessert if I do say so myself.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.