November 16, 2020

Cream Puffs With Cider-Caramelized Apples & Bourbon Cream

Recipe: Eshun Mott

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 90 minutes

Cream puffs aren’t hard to create! Make the pastry and Bourbon Cream base up to two days ahead — just re-crisp the cream puffs in the oven, if needed.


Bourbon Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup 35% cream, whipped to soft peaks

Cream Puffs

  • ⅔ cup water
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour (175 g)
  • 5 large eggs


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 lbs. Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½”-thick slices
  • 2½ cups unsweetened apple cider
  • ½ cup sugar


Yield: Serves 8

Plan Ahead: The Bourbon Cream needs to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Make Bourbon Cream

  1. In small pot, bring milk, bourbon and vanilla to a boil. Set aside.
  2. In another small pot, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt, and whisk to combine. Add egg yolks and whisk until uniform.
  3. Add hot milk mixture to egg mixture in slow, steady stream, whisking until milk is fully incorporated. Place pot over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has thickened, then boiled.
  4. Immediately pour cream through strainer into clean bowl and whisk in butter. Press piece of plastic wrap into surface of cream and chill for 2 hours, or until fully cooled and thickened.
  5. Before serving, beat whipping cream to soft peaks and fold into base.

Make Cream Puffs

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and, spacing as far apart as possible, draw nine 2½” circles (turn paper over so pencil marks are underneath).
  2. In pot over medium-high heat, combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, add flour all at once and stir vigorously with wooden spoon for 4 minutes, or until mixture is smooth and shiny and pulls away from sides of pot leaving film of flour on bottom. The mixture won’t change much after 2 minutes, but keep stirring to dry out dough slightly.
  3. Scrape dough into bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions, until dough is shiny and thick.
  4. Transfer to piping bag fitted with large round tip, and pipe about ½ cup mounds to fill circles you’ve drawn.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 375°F and bake for 15 more minutes, or until cream puffs are brown and crisp. Turn off heat, open oven door and let sit for 5 more minutes, or until outsides of dough feels dry and crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to rack to cool fully. (This recipe will make 1 more than needed: cook’s treat!)

Cook Apples

  1. Heat butter in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned. Add cider, bring to a boil, and simmer briskly for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are tender and juices are syrupy. Let cool.

Assemble & Serve

  1. Slice open cream puffs. Divide apples between them. Spoon on Bourbon Cream and top with lid. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.