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Christmas Eclairs

Christmas Eclairs with Orange Crème Diplomat and Cranberry & Pistachio Topping

Alternative Christmas desserts are what we are all about this year! Not that we don't like a boozy Christmas Pudding or a buttery Mince Pie (we do! we really really do!), but we do enjoy something different every Christmas, and this year it's a brand new bake for us - our Christmas Eclairs with Orange Crème Diplomat and Cranberry & Pistachio Topping! Try it! It's a lovely dessert for Christmas Eve or Boxing Day lunch to keep the Christmas theme going!
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Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Christmas, French
Servings 10 eclairs
Calories 270 kcal



For the Choux Pastry:

  • 40 g unsalted butter diced
  • 120 ml water
  • 65 g strong white flour sifted
  • 2 eggs beaten

For the Orange Creme Patissiere:

  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 70 g caster sugar
  • 20 g cornflour
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 1 orange juice and rest
  • tsp orange extract

For the Topping:

  • 125 g fondant icing sugar sifted
  • 1½-2 tbsp water
  • 30 g pistachio kernels roughly chopped
  • 30 g dried cranberries roughly chopped


To Make Choux Pastry:

  • In a large pan, heat the water, butter and salt until the butter has melted. As soon as the liquid boils, tip in all the flour in one go. Remove the pan from the heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together into a cohesive paste.
  • Put the pan back on low heat and keep on beating the dough. It should become glossy and come away from the sides of the pan. Take it off the heat and leave to cool down for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C Fan. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.
  • Once the dough has cooled down slightly, gradually add the beaten eggs into the dough, beating vigorously after each addition. Keep on adding the egg bit by bit until you have a shiny, thick, pipeable batter that holds shape when piped. When enough egg has been added, it will be thin enough that a large spoonful will fall heavily from the spoon in one lump, but thick enough that it doesn't slide off easily.
  • Scrape the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1 1/4 cm plain nozzle. Pipe 10 eclairs (about 10cm in length) on a baking parchment-lined sheets leaving 5 cm in between them, as they will puff up heaps.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes Wihout opening the door, reduce the temperature to 160C and carry on cooking for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the eclairs from the oven and using a sharp knife, pierce a small hole in the side of each eclair to allow the steam to escape. Return eclairs to the oven and bake for another 3-4 minutes to dry them out and crisp up (it's important that you dry them out as you will reintroduce moisture with filling later). Remove the crisp eclairs from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Make the Orange Crème Diplomat :

  • Mix the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour in a heatproof bowl.
  • Add the milk and vanilla paste to a small saucepan and heat right up to the boiling point. Immediatelly remove from the heat and gradually add to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to avoid the eggs scrambling.
  • Return the custard to the pan and heat until it starts to boil, stirring continuously. Carry on cooking until it thickens (it took me about 10 minutes). The consistency should be that of the custard you get in the tins and you should have about 350g of it at this point. If using orange extract, stir it in now. Remove from the heat, transfer the custard to a bowl and cover it with cling film placed directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Place the double cream, zest of an orange and orange extract into a large bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the cooled orange custard and place into a piping bag fitted with a small diameter nozzle and refrigerate until you are ready to fill your eclairs or at least 20 minutes.
  • Pipe the filling into the eclairs through the hole previously made to let the steam out.

Make the Topping:

  • For the icing, add water (2-3 tbsp) to the fondant icing sugar to make the icing. We like a thin layer of icing but you may choose to make it thick and stiff if you wish by using less water.
  • You choose to pipe the filling or simply smear it on with a palet knife. Before the icing sets, scatter the pistachios and dried cranberries in top and leave to set for 30 minutes before serving!


Sodium: 36mgCalcium: 67mgVitamin C: 7mgVitamin A: 537IUSugar: 25gFiber: 1gPotassium: 132mgCholesterol: 123mgCalories: 270kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 7gFat: 14gProtein: 5gCarbohydrates: 33gIron: 1mg
Keyword Christmas Baking Recipes, Christmas Desserts, Christmas Eclair Recipe, Christmas Eclairs, Eclairs with Cranberries and Pistachios, Eclairs with Creme Diplomat, Eclairs with Orange Creme Diplomat
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