Spiced Pear and Maple Cream Puffs

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Spiced Pear and Maple Cream Puffs
Spiced Pear and Maple Cream Puffs

Pear season is in full swing and we love combining all the flavors of fall for some sweet treats and other pear recipes! These cream puffs are packed with fall flavors with a delicious spiced pear compote with maple whipped cream!

What is a Cream Puff?

Cream puffs, in short, are little pastry balls filled with cream. The cream filling can vary from whipped cream to ice cream and everything in between like pastry cream or custard. The cream puff pastry is made from choux paste, which is also known as éclair paste or pâte à choux. Since the pastry itself isn’t very sweet and doesn’t have much flavor, it can be used in a variety of ways.

The fillings are really the star of the show here and there are sweet and savory variations for these.

For our autumn-inspired recipe, we chose a sweet spiced pear compote along with a maple whipped cream.

Spiced Pear Compote for Maple Cream Puffs

Compotes are essentially a fruit preserve made with pieces of fruit cooked with sugar and water. The result is a fruit syrup filling that is great in pastries, tarts and pies.

For our pear compote, we used ripe red pears. Any pears will work in this recipe, so use your favorite or whichever pears you can find in your grocery store. The key here is that they should be ripe.

Spiced Pear Compote in Maple Cream Puffs
Spiced Pear Compote

The addition of spices is what gives this pear compote a flavor that feels warm and cozy for the winter months. We used allspice, cinnamon, cloves and star anise to give it that wintery flavor!

The Pear Compote will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 months, so making extra to spread on toast or add to ice cream is completely acceptable!

Maple Syrup & Alternatives 

As I am sure you are all aware maple syrup is made from the sap of the maple tree. Pure maple syrup is what we recommend for this recipe because the flavor is much better than imitation syrups. Unfortunately, pure maple syrup is often very expensive, and using an imitation syrup that fits in your budget will work in this recipe as well. 

Enjoy!

We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Spiced Pear and Maple Cream Puffs! It is truly a delicious dessert that is perfect for the upcoming holiday season or your holiday gatherings.

If you give this recipe a try, click the heart at the top of this post, leave us a comment and 5-star rating below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Spiced pear and maple cream puffs
Spiced Pear and Maple Cream Puffs
Recipe developed in collaboration with Chef Vanessa Wilson-Watson

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Spiced Pear and Maple Cream Puffs

Recipe by Vanessa Wilson-Watson, Mark, and Angela Course: DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy
Makes

18

puffs
Prep time

45

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

25

minutes

Ingredients

  • Pear Compote**
  • 3 ripe pears, we used red pears, but any type works

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup water at room temperature

  • 1/8 tsp allspice

  • 1 large or 2 smaller cinnamon sticks

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 star anise

  • Choux Paste
  • 1 cup (250 g) whole milk

  • 1 tsp (5 g) kosher salt

  • 2.5 tsp (10 g) sugar

  • ½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 cup (150 g) All Purpose Flour

  • 3 eggs at room temp

  • Maple Whipped Cream**
  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • ¼ cup of maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Finishing Touches
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  • Pear Compote
  • Start by peeling, de-coring and chopping your pears into small cubes. They don’t have to be perfect cubes. If they are similar sizes, this will allow them to cook at the same rate.
  • In a heavy bottom saucepan, add all your pear compote ingredients: chopped pears, lemon juice, sugar, water, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
  • On a high heat, bring the spiced pear mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn your heat down to low and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pear pieces are very soft. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover with the lid to cool.
  • Once cooled, remove cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise, then add compote to a blender. Blend until smooth, then store your compote in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. The compote will last in the fridge for up to 4 months.
  • Choux Paste
  • Preheat your oven to 300°F, and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, and salt on medium heat. After 2 minutes add in the butter pieces and turn the heat to high. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat and add the flour, mixing well to make sure all the flour has been mixed in thoroughly. Place the saucepan back on very low heat and press the mixture down with a spatula or wooden spoon to fully cover the bottom of the pan for 1 minute. Then, transfer the mixture into your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on a medium speed to start working the mixture as it cools. The mixture needs to cool to around body temp (98°F), otherwise it will start to cook the eggs when you add them.
  • Once cooled, add the eggs one at a time making sure they are completely mixed in before adding the next. After all the eggs have been added, do a final scrape of the bottom and sides of the bowl, then turn on your mixer to full speed for 2-3 minutes or until your choux is light in color (this is developing the gluten).
  • Finally place the mixture into a piping bag (we used a star tip) but any medium circle tip will be fine. On your prepared parchment paper, pipe your choux, trying to keep them all the same size to cook evenly.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 300°F, then WITHOUT opening the oven, turn the temperature to 225°F and cook for another 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow them to cool completely before filling.
  • Maple Whipped Cream
  • Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on a high speed until you achieve stiff peaks. Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip to pipe into your Cream Puffs.
  • Assembly Cream Puff
  • Cut the choux buns in half. On the bottom half, pipe a small amount of whipped maple cream in a circle leaving a small well in the middle.
  • Using a teaspoon, place a small amount of pear compote into the well. Place the top half of the cream puff on top then dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Notes

  • To make perfectly sized crème puffs, use a cookie cutter the desired size of your crème puffs and draw around the inside of the cutter on your parchment paper to make a template/guide to help when you are piping. But don’t forget to flip the parchment paper over before piping so the ink does not get in your cream puffs.

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