Éclair

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Éclair
Eclairs at Fauchon in Paris.jpg
Eclairs at Fauchon in Paris
Place of origin France
Main ingredient(s) Choux pastry, coffee- or chocolate-flavoured cream, icing
A classical éclair

An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry then is filled with a vanilla-, coffee- or chocolate-flavoured[1] custard (crème pâtissière), or with whipped cream, or chiboust cream; and then iced with fondant icing.[1] Other fillings include pistachio- and rum-flavoured custard, fruit-flavoured fillings, or chestnut purée. The icing is sometimes caramel, in which case the dessert may be called a bâton de Jacob.[2]

Etymology[edit]

The word comes from French éclair 'flash of lightning', so named because it is eaten quickly (in a flash).[3]

A machine for making éclairs

History[edit]

The éclair originated during the nineteenth century in France where it was called "pain à la duchesse"[4] or "petite duchesse" until 1850.[5] It is a popular member of the pie family served all over the world. The word is first attested both in English and in French in the 1860s.[6][7] Some food historians speculate that éclairs were first made by Antonin Carême (1784–1833), the famous French chef.[citation needed] The first known English-language recipe for éclairs appears in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, published in 1884.

Outside of France[edit]

In some parts of the United States, Long Johns are marketed under the name éclairs, though the two are not identical. A Long John uses donut pastry and is typically filled with vanilla pudding or custard.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Montagné, Prosper, Larousse gastronomique: the new American edition of the world's greatest culinary encyclopedia, Jenifer Harvey Lang, ed., New York: Crown Publishers, 1988, p. 401 ISBN 978-0-517-57032-6
  2. ^ (Montagné 1961, p. 365, Éclair)
  3. ^ Éclair, Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 8th edition
  4. ^ (Gouffé 1873, p. 288)
  5. ^ (Montagné 1961, p. 357, Duchesses)
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1861. Petit Larousse, 1863.
  7. ^ Gouffé, Jules (1873). "Entremets détachés". Le Livre de Pâtisserie (PDF) (in French). Paris: Hachette. p. 288. Retrieved 2009-03-24. "On a changé, depuis une vingtaine d'années, le nom de ces gâteaux [pains à la duchesse] : on les désigne actuellement sous le nom d'éclairs." 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jules Gouffé, Le livre de pâtisserie, 1873 [1], Deuxième Partie, Chapitre IX, "Pains à la duchesse au café"
  • Prosper Montagné, Larousse Gastronomique, The Encyclopedia of Wine, Food & Cookery (English translation), 1961

External links[edit]