I thought it was time to try something new. In fact this is my first attempt at making Cream Puffs. Mrs. August May’s recipe for Cream Puffs is one of three such recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I selected this one as a beginner because it appears to make a small amount.
I boiled the water and added the butter to a saucepan. Once the butter was melted and the water was bubbling I stirred in the flour. It became a solid ball almost instantly so I let it cook briefly and then removed the pan from the stove. After about 10 minutes I started beating in the eggs. This was more difficult than I anticipated. I felt the mixture had to be smooth which took some work. I opted to use parchment paper on the baking sheet just in case of disaster. I greased the parchment and dropped the batter by teaspoon onto the sheet. It is essentially like making a drop cookie. I baked the 10 blobs at 375 degrees F. and checked at the 30 minute mark. They appeared perfectly cooked.
While the puff part of the cream puff was baking, I started making the cream part. It took me two tries and I probably should have tried again. It is VERY easy to burn or brown the milk. I chose to mix the salt, sugar and cornstarch together and add it as one. I’m not sure if this was a good idea or not. It made a smooth mixture but it didn’t get very thick. I added the butter and then beat the egg a bit and added it. I kept stirring and left the pot on the heat for a few minutes. I’m really not sure whether the cream is supposed to cook once the egg is added. I chose to cook it a bit. I poured it into a bowl and left it to cool.
Mrs. August May contributed a number of recipes to the Berlin Cook Book. Hannah Hertel was born in Ontario just four years before Canada became a country. Her husband August May was born the same year in Germany. He came to Canada when he was seven years old and became a naturalized citizen ten years later. He’s listed as a mason in the 1901 census. The couple have four children.
I am so excited! The puffs looked like puffs when they came out of the oven after 30 minutes. I let the cream cool and then tried to figure out how to get the cream into the puffs so that they become cream puffs. I ended up pulling the puff in two and then spooning in the cream and then reassembling them. Voila a cream puff.
The filling is not what I expected. I think it should be a little thicker as both a tester and I managed to dribbling the filling onto ourselves. One tester liked them as she really likes cream puffs. The rest of us thought they were okay. I find the puffs taste like egg — great if you like eggs. I plan to try the other recipes but at least I know Mrs. May’s recipe produces acceptable puffs. I think I would opt for another filling in future because the taste just isn’t nice enough to bother trying to make it thicker. The filling recipe made double the amount needed.
1/2 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup sifted flour, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon butter. Put water and butter in sauce pan when bubbling add flour, cook until it forms balls on a spoon, cool, add egg 1 by 1, beat well and drop from tips of spoon, on buttered pan, bake 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour.
Cream for above -1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon butter, Heat milk, cook 10 minutes, add sugar and salt, beat egg, then add to the other mixture.