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9 Apple Filled Cream Puffs with Caramel Sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar arranged on parchment paper
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5 from 6 votes

Craquelin Choux Buns with Apple Compote

These light as air choux buns are filled with a Granny Smith apple compote and a luscious whipped mascarpone cream. The apple cider caramel sauce is completely optional but oh so delicious.
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 18
Calories: 301kcal

Ingredients

Craquelin

  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (106 grams) all-purpose flour sifted

Pate a Choux

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted Bob’s Red Mill
  • 4 large (200 grams) eggs room temperature

Apple Compote

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples about 1 pound
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Whipped Mascarpone

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) mascarpone, cold
  • 1 cup 254 grams heavy whipping cream cold
  • 3 tablespoons Meadow Foam honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract

Instructions

For the Craquelin

  • Place the butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and use a spatula wooden spoon to mix them together. Mix in the flour and the salt. Transfer the mixture onto a large sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat that is lightly floured and shape into a 6-inch square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll into 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Use a 1-3/4-inch or 2-inch cookie cutter to cut into circles. Place the circles on a cookie sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

For the Apple Compote

  • Peel and chop the apples into small pieces. Place them in a 3 or 2-quart saucepan along with the lemon juice, apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the saucepan with a lid for 5 minutes. This step is to make sure the apples soften before the liquid boils off. Remove the lid and continue to cook the apples until the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Scrape the apple compote in a container and allow it to cool to room temperature before filling the choux buns. If making the day before, refrigerate it after it has cooled.

For the Choux Buns

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Draw 2-inch circles, 2 inches apart on parchment paper and line two baking sheets with the pencil side down.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl or onto a piece of wax paper. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl.
  • Place the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and make sure all the butter is melted. Remove the pot from the heat and dump in all the flour all at one and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until there are no bits of flour left. You do not want any lumps of flour. Return the saucepan to medium heat and continue to cook the choux while stirring vigorously. The mixture will sizzle as it continues to cook, and a thin layer will form on the bottom of the pan. This step is to cook the protein in the flour and cook some of the moisture in the choux. The dough will become a smooth ball.
  • Put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer and with the paddle attachment beat on medium speed for 1 minute to cool the choux pasty. Reduce the speed to low, add one egg and increase the speed to medium and beat until the egg is incorporated. Repeat with each egg. After add the second egg, stop the mixture and scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl. After the last egg is added beat the dough on medium speed for another 1-2 minutes until it is smooth. To test the dough stop the mixture, unhook the paddle attachment, push it into the dough and then slowly pull up. If the dough forms a V-shape at the bottom the attachment it is ready.
  • Add an 1/2-inch piping tube to an 18-inch pastry bag. Fill the pastry bag with the choux dough. Hold the bag straight up and down over the baking sheet about 3/4-inch from the surface and pipe a 2-inch round. There should be room for 12 on one baking sheet, and 6 on the other.
  • Bake one baking sheet at a time. Place one craquelin circle on top of each choux round right before it goes in the oven. Place the remaining craquelin back in the freezer.
  • If you're making the choux buns without the craquelin, wet the tip of your index finger and gently pat down the tip of the bun. Make an egg wash by whisking together one egg and 1 teaspoon of milk and gently brush the buns with the egg wash.
  • Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 10-15 minutes until choux buns are golden brown and the craquelin has melted oven the choux bun. Remove them from the oven and place the pan on the cooling rack. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and wait for it to reach full temperature before baking the second pan.

For the Whipped Mascarpone

  • Place the mascarpone in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whip attachment beat the mascarpone on medium-high speed (5 or 6 on a stand mixer) for 30 seconds.
  • Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the heavy cream in a steady stream down the side of the bowl. After adding all the cream, increase the speed to medium-high and beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Add the honey and vanilla bean extract and beat on medium-low speed until it is thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the filling into an 18-inch pasty bag and

Assemble the Cream Puffs

  • When the choux buns have completely cooled cut off the top half with a serrated knife. Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the filling in the bottom of the bun. Pipe the whipped mascarpone on top of the apple filling and then top with the top half of the choux bun.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar or for true decadence drizzle with apple cider caramel sauce (see link below for the recipe).

Apple Cider Caramel Sauce (Optional)

Notes

Equipment
 
Tips for Success
  • When boiling the milk, water, butter and sugar together make sure all the butter is melted and that there are no lumps before adding the flour.
  • Sift the flour. It will make it easier to mix into the wet ingredients. You do not want any lumps of flour in the dough
  • When you add the flour, immediately start stirring it in and stir vigorously until there are no bits of flour visible.
  • When the Choux Buns are baking don't open the oven door.  The high heat is needed to ensure the buns rise.  

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 748IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg