Ecto Eclairs – it’s what’s for Halloween dessert this year. This month’s Food ‘n Flix movie, hosted by Coffee and Casseroles, is the Ghostbusters re-boot. I have to confess – I didn’t think I’d ever watch the reboot. It wasn’t the all female cast that bothered me. It is just the whole movie reboot phenomena. Plus, I love the original Ghostbusters. It’s one of my all-time favorite 80s comedies. I wanted to be either Egon or Janine when I grew up. I definitely wanted to see some ghosts.
But, in the interest of food, I went ahead and watched the reboot. I had hoped I’d be pleasantly surprised, but in reality, I felt kind of meh about this one. It wasn’t awful and it wasn’t great. I thought Kate McKinnon did a great job as Dr. Jillian “Holtz” Holtzmann. Leslie Jones was good, too. Overall, though, there wasn’t the cohesion between the actresses as there was between the original cast. I have to admit, I don’t watch much contemporary comedy, so was kind of clueless about who the actresses are. I kind of forgave them when I realized that they didn’t have the same kind of history that Akryod, Murray, and Ramis had prior to Ghostbusters.
Still, the movie had some great special effects and plenty of ghostly slime. In fact, it’s the ghostly slime that inspired my ecto eclairs. Ecto-plasm is the stuff that the ghosts exude all over the place in the movies, so I aimed for some ecto pastry crème to fill my eclairs.
Eclairs can look like a daunting pastry. However, I found that making the actual pastry for these was super easy. The pastry crème was straightforward, too. I had quite a bit of fun using gel food dye to get the Slimer-level green going on. (Slimer was always one of my favorite parts about Ghostbusters – and in the reboot, Slimer gets a girlfriend – ok, I liked that part). This recipe also works quite well for normal eclairs, so is a good recipe to save for the holidays. Of course, you may be able to tell from the photos that I had a lot of fun with this – it’s not often I genuinely get to play with my food.
- 1 1/4 cup milk (I made it with 1% and it was fine - would probably be best with whole milk)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- gel green food coloring if desired
- Make the pastry cream first - it will need time to cool. Combine the sugar, flour, egg yolks, and vanilla to make a paste. Set aside.
- Bring the milk to a simmer over low heat. Remove from the heat and add to the sugar/egg paste, stirring constantly.
- Return to low heat and stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick. Add the butter. Set aside to cool for ten minutes and then refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the butter and water in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil. Add the flour and salt, stirring constantly and cook for a minute.
- Remove from heat and cool. You can speed up this process by beating for about three minutes with a handheld or stand mixer.
- Once the dough is cool, add the eggs, beating constantly until all the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth.
- Use a 1/2 inch pastry tip, preferably with ridges. Spoon the choux dough into a pastry bag. Evenly pipe the choux dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Eclairs should be about 4 or so inches long.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until puffy and evenly brown.
- To fill the eclairs, either poke small holes on the bottom of the eclair and fill with the pastry cream via these holes, or cut in half and fill.
- Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add food coloring, if desired, or add a bit of melted chocolate. Glaze the eclairs.
- Makes 12. Enjoy!