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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

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Chocolate Éclair Surprise – 38 years in the Making!!

Posted: June 23, 2010
by: Mark Stine


Growing up as a young kid, I had the best memories of my Aunt Pat making chocolate éclairs. I am an admitted dessert lover (and deserts too) and since I can remember, have always loved chocolate éclairs …..and it seemed my Aunt was always making them. Then she stopped. It was like going through withdrawal…from my later teens onward….every time there would be a family gathering I would ask Pat when she was going to make éclairs again. Sometimes it would be 5 years or more before I would see her. .. And again...somewhere in the visit, I would ask poor Aunt Pat when she was going to make éclairs. After a while… I stopped asking.

Then last November on a family trip back to Ohio to help out my mother for a week….two of my mom’s sisters stopped in for a visit… And as we opened the door… there totally unannounced or expected was a fantastic platter of chocolate éclairs in Pat’s hands! What a surprise...it was the high point of the family visit….and as a follow up for posterity, I asked for the recipe so I could share it with you and maybe someday bake my own. So Pat…after all of these years…thank you for a wonderful treat…again!


Éclair recipe

½ cup butter or margarine (do your self a gourmand favor and use real butter!!)
1 cup of boiling water
1 cup of all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
4 eggs

Melt the butter in the boiling water. Add the flour and salt all at once, stir vigorously over low heat for about one minute or until the mixture forms a ball.  Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Then add the eggs, one at a time beating vigorously after each egg is added until the mixture is smooth.

On a greased cookie sheet, shape the dough by about ¼ cupfuls into “fingers”  four inches long by 1 inch wide. This should make about 12 shells.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. When cool, split and fill with vanilla cream pudding. Frost the éclairs with chocolate icing and refrigerate until serving time.



As a bonus…my Aunt Judy who arrived with Pat brought along a home made pumpkin pie to accompany the chocolate éclairs.  It was two – two – two delights in one day. Judy received the very tasty pumpkin pie baked by her neighbor friend. It had an earthy texture as he had just prepared fresh home-grown pumpkin and there was nice thicker texture to the pumpkin mix.  So here is the recipe from a noted baking web site.

Level: Easy
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 55 min
Cooling time: 2 hrs cooling
Yields: 8 servings
3/4 cup granulated sugar (or try  ¼ cup brown sugar  and ½ cup of white sugar – which is prepared style I sampled!!)
teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
two large eggs
one can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin  ( or better…prepare fresh pumpkin and get that thicker richer texture!)
one can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell one Whipped cream  (optional)
Grandma Bittner’s Surprise: As my Aunt Judy Poe reminded me…my Grandmother Bittner made incredible pies and ALWAYS added one shot of bourbon to each pie filling....as Judy said… “It was Yummy!!” So add as an option to suit your taste!
one Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. (Add shot of Bourbon if you dare!)

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.


Now you are all set for chilled éclairs as a summer treat and a new pumpkin pie recipe for fall.  As HGTV’s Candace Olsen is fond of saying…”How Divine”

Credit where credit is due: This is the traditional holiday pumpkin pie. This classic recipe has been on LIBBY'S® Pumpkin labels since 1950. This pie is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. Just mix, pour, bake for a delicious homemade tradition.