Cream Puffs With Custard Filling Recipe – Classic Italian Dessert

These cream puffs with a rich custard filling are a traditional Italian dessert. They are usually eaten on St. Joseph’s Day, but I say indulge in them year-round!

Cream Puffs With Custard Filling Recipe

Yield: 12 large or 24 small pastries 


For the pastry:

  • 2¾ cups unbleached flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups water
  • 9½ tablespoon butter
  • 6 large eggs

For the custard:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon rum



For the pastry:

  • Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat the water. Add the butter. When melted, remove the pan from the stove and add the flour mixture all at once.
  • Beat with a wooden spoon, then return the pan to medium-high heat, beating the mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon or hand mixer in-between additions to mix well.
  • Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch tip with the cream puff batter. Squeeze out 3-inch puffs, about ½ inch apart on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. When done, carefully slit the side of each cream puff with a knife to allow steam to escape and to prevent the puffs from becoming soggy inside. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool.

For the custard:

  • In a saucepan over moderate heat, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk gradually, cooking and stirring until mixture is thick and bubbly.
  • Lower heat, stirring for 2 minutes and remove from heat. In a small bowl, add cream mixture to eggs slowly. Return mixture back to pan.
  • Bring to gently boil for 2 more minutes, adding butter, rum, and vanilla.
  • Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool, placing plastic wrap on the top of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate.
  • Once the custard has cooled completely, pipe into opened pastry shells until they are so full they might pop, top with a cherry, and dust with powdered sugar.

Buon appetito!
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