Beat eggs in a bowl set aside. Measure 1 cup flour and set aside.
In a heavy nonstick saucepan, pour 1 cup water and a stick of butter (not margarine) add zests and bring to a boil on medium heat, leave on heat and add flour stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved and comes together.
Remove from heat, add eggs, and beat very rapidly with the wooden spoon until a ball of dough is formed…
Note it’s very important to beat this fast.
Spoon one tablespoon of dough or teaspoon for small puffs (or use a pastry bag with a large star tip) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Shape into logs for eclairs or round for cream puffs.
(Shown in photo, I used an extra-large cookie press star-shaped tip to make the swirled puffs after baking filled with cafe cream recipe below).
Bake on 400 for 1/2 hour, do not open the oven, or puffs will not cook correctly.
When browned remove from oven, cool, cut in half to fill.
You can fill with puffs whipped cream, Italian pastry creme, vanilla pudding. Eclairs also will have chocolate frosting on top filled with vanilla pudding
Remove to a rack and cool completely. Cut a slit in the side of each puff and fill with below filling or sweetened whipped cream:
Filling Recipes Below
Ricotta Filling Bari Style (for cream puff dough):
3 cups Ricotta cheese
1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients except chips and beat with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cafe Cream Filling Most Bakery Styles (Photo’s Shown Above)
4 large egg yolks
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup granulated sugar)
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup Ricotta cheese whole milk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
In a small heavyweight saucepan, beat the yolks, sugar, salt, and flour all at once until all lumps are gone. Slowly add milk and whisk to make a smooth consistency. Heat slowly over medium heat till this mixture thickens stirring constantly.
At the very start, whisk slowly and then a little quicker as the cream starts feeling thicker. Wait for a simmering boil to appear.
At this point lower the heat to very low as you finish getting the perfect creamy consistency. As the whisk leaves a trail as it stirs, this is the indication that the cream is ready.
When the pudding has thickened remove it from the stove and cover it with wax paper not to form a skin.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
The ricotta is added to the filling in the pudding after it has chilled.
In a bowl add ricotta, sugar, and almond flavoring, stir till completely mixed. Fold in the pudding.
Fill cream puffs.
These also look nice with a mixture of powdered sugar and water glaze with a cherry on top.
Ricotta Fried Fritter Puffs (also referred to as fried Zeppole)
This is the fritter style also if would
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 heaping tablespoon powdered sugar,
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
Drizzle with honey
Sprinkle with sugar
Dust with powdered sugar
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta and eggs, and whisk until smooth.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; whisk to make a smooth batter.
Fill a wide and shallow skillet pan with about 3/4- inch of oil.
Heat over medium-high heat until a bit of test batter sizzles when dropped in.
Cook in batches, dropping 5 or 6 rounded teaspoons of batter into the pan at a time.
When the batter puffs up and the undersides turn golden brown, after about 1 minute,
flip and fry for 1 more minute, or until golden brown.
Transfer the ricotta balls to a plate with some paper towels just to remove the excess oil, and continue cooking the rest of the batter until all is used.
On a serving plate, pile the ricotta balls in a rough pyramid.
Sprinkle or shake in a brown paper bag the fritters with powdered sugar, regular white sugar, or drizzle with honey.