You’ll recall that one of the dishes I served at the Halloween party was pear tartlets. The other recipe I broke out from the Professional Pastry Chef was for what the recipe called “Individual Croquembouche.” Since the Halloween party spread is buffet style, this recipe was getting heavily modded right from the start. And since I had a fridge full of partial desserts and an awareness that things always run behind, I went ahead and modded it further. The original intent is to stack puffs of pate a choux filled with pastry cream in a pyramid with whipped cream, and then drizzle them with raspberry sauce. I decided to fill them with the left over lemon curd and use the melba sauce that gave me such grief with the froofy rice pudding.
The first step was to actually make the puffs. I had pate a chox left over from the July 4th eclairs, so I just tossed that into a pastry bag, let it thaw out (it was frozen) and then re-piped it into puffs. Then they get tossed into the oven and baked.
The next bit was fun, though something I’d rather do in front of the TV than in a rush on the day of. Take a skewer and poke a hole in your freshly baked puffs. Then pipe your filling into the hole. The lemon curd gave me a bit of flack on this step, but I prevailed. And my hands tasted of lemon-y goodness when I was done.
I had originally intended to make one giant pyramid of the croquembouche and let people pull that apart. On reflection, that was a really bad idea, but one I didn’t inflict on anybody since the leftover pate a choux didn’t make enough for a sizable pyramid. I wound up displaying them on a cake plate instead.
These turned out tasty, though I needed to fill them better than I did – it was very inconsistent whether there was enough lemon curd in the pastry for it to be noticeable. I’d never go to all this effort for individual servings, despite what the cookbook expects, but it worked quite well for a buffet spread. And, it got lots of leftovers out of my fridge and freezer. Yay!