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.
Blood Orange Eclairs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 blood orange thinly sliced
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs whisked
Blood orange filling
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup blood orange juice
- 1 tbsp blood orange zest
- ¼ cup butter cut into large chunks
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar divided
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp blood orange juice
- ¼ cup chopped toasted pistachios
- Combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add 1 thinly sliced blood orange and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until the rind is soft. Remove from heat and drain the liquid. Lay the orange slices on a wire rack and let cool overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the pate choux for the eclairs. Combine ¼ cup butter with ⅔ cup water in a medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to low. Add ½ cup all-purpose flour, stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Take the mixture off the heat and let cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the whisked eggs a little at a time to the dough, stirring well to make a smooth paste. Transfer the dough to a piping bag and pipe 12 lines 6-inches long on the prepared baking sheet pan. The lines should be about ½-inch thick and be about 1 inch apart from one another. Bake the pate choux in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees F and continue to bake another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the eclairs from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
- Make the orange curd. Whisk together 4 egg yolks with ¾ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup blood orange juice, and 1 tbsp blood orange zest in a heat-safe bowl. Make a double boiler, filling a small pot halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and place the bowl with the egg yolk mixture on top of the pot. The bowl should not be directly touching the water. Continue to cook the curd until thickened, about 10 minutes. As the curd begins to get thicker, start to whisk constantly. The curd is ready when it coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the orange curd from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly touching the curd and cool completely.
- Whip 1 ½ cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently mix in 6 tbsp of the cooled orange curd. Don't worry if the curd doesn't completely mix in, you just want to combine the two. Transfer the cream filling to a piping bag.
- Mix 1 ½ cup powdered sugar with 2 tbsp lime juice to make a thick lime glaze. Mix the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar with 1 tbsp blood orange juice to make another glaze. The blood orange glaze will be thinner in consistency than the lime glaze. Transfer both glazes to 2 different piping bags.
- Cut the eclair shells in half lengthwise. Pipe the lime juice on the top shell. Wet a finger with water and smooth out the icing.
- Pipe the orange cream filling on the bottom shell. Top with the shell with the lime icing. Drizzle the blood orange icing on top to create a pretty pattern. Place the candied blood orange slices on top and finish with chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.
**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.
For more blood orange inspiration check out this bostock with blood orange marmalade!