Mother's Cream Puffs
SERVES: 6 Large Cream Puffs

Although I was too young to remember the flavor and flakiness of Mother's homemade cream puffs, throughout the years I've been reminded of their superior quality by older relatives. Because Mom died when I was seven, I never had an opportunity to create one of my great Mother's Day dishes for her. I hope this cream puff recipe from our family archives will do justice to what she would have served.


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs

Heat oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a rolling boil over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt. Cook, stirring vigorously, until mixture leaves sides of pan in a smooth ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking constantly after each addition until smooth and glossy. Spoon 6 mounds of dough (about ¼ cup each) 3 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 30–40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and prick puffs with sharp knife to allow steam to vent. Remove from cookie sheet, split in half and extract any filaments of soft dough.


  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsps cornstarch
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps cold butter

In a stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar. Whisk in cornstarch and nutmeg until well blended. In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, combine milk and vanilla over medium-high heat until steam rises, but it is just short of boiling. Remove from heat, whisking constantly. Slowly pour into egg mixture. Stir constantly to prevent eggs from scrambling. Return mixture to pot over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it begins to thicken, whisk vigorously to keep mixture from scorching and eggs from scrambling. Once thickened to custard consistency, remove from heat and stir in butter. Place hot custard in a ceramic bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. It is important to cover custard so that it does not form a skin layer. Once cool, pipe vanilla cream into pastry puffs and serve.

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