These Strawberry Choux au Craquelin are crunchy strawberry craquelin over choux pastry puffs filled with a strawberry crème légère and salted strawberry jam. The crème légère filling is a strawberry pastry cream recipe that is lightened with strawberry whipped cream.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy.
These fruity choux au craquelin were a challenge from my partner, Cody. He loves any pastry cream-centric recipes I make and loves strawberries so this was bound to happen. I adapted this recipe from Serious Eats.
If you are also a lover of pastry cream you might be into my Rainbow Fruit Tart, which is filled with vanilla bean pastry cream. If you are just here for the strawberries, then you would be more into my Easy Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This recipe uses real strawberries.
- There is strawberry in three components.
- The sweet crème légère is balanced by the more neutral choux pastry and the salted jam.
- The strawberry craquelin is crunchy to provide texture contrast to the soft filling.
- Fresh and freeze-dried strawberries bring maximum strawberry flavor.
- Whole milk and heavy cream add richness to the crème légère.
- Brown sugar sweetens the craquelin and white sugar sweetens the crème légère.
- Cornstarch and all-purpose flour thicken the crème légère.
- Vanilla and kosher salt balance the overall flavor profile.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and variations
Here’s how to customize these pastries to your liking:
- Brown sugar craquelin — replace the strawberry craquelin with brown sugar craquelin by omitting the freeze dried strawberry powder and red dye
- No freeze-dried strawberries — omit the freeze-dried strawberries completely
- Homemade strawberry jam — make a homemade strawberry jam using my blueberry jam recipe here and swapping for strawberries
- No heavy cream — skip the heavy cream portion of the filling recipe and just fill the choux with the strawberry pastry cream
- Decoration — use sprinkles, freeze-dried strawberry bits or leave off the decoration completely
This recipe has not been tested with any substitutions or variations. If you try any, please let me know how it turned out by commenting below!
How to assemble choux au craquelin
Step 1: Pipe dollops of choux batter on the prepared pans.
Step 2: Place a 2-inch circle of frozen craquelin on top of each unbaked dollop. Bake and make a hole in the bottom.
Step 3: Fill with the crème légère and salted strawberry jam.
Step 4: Garnish with whipped cream and a freeze-dried strawberry, if desired.
- Wear gloves if using red food dye when kneading the craquelin dough.
- I like to fit my piping bag with a large round piping tip when piping dollops of choux pastry.
- If serving leftovers, keep the choux au craquelin separate from the fillings until ready to serve. Reheat the unfilled choux in a 350ºF oven for 5-7 minutes or until crisped back up. Cool on a wire rack before filling.
Yes, reheat baked unfilled choux au craquelin in a 350ºF oven for 5-7 minutes or until crisped back up. Cool on a wire rack before filling.
Yes, omit the strawberries and red dye completely for a brown sugar choux au craquelin with a vanilla bean crème légère.
Yes, freeze unbaked choux au craquelin on the tray until frozen solid. Then remove the dollops to an airtight container to freeze for 1-2 months. Bake from frozen.
More recipes you’ll love
Lastly, if you make this Strawberry Choux au Craquelin recipe be sure to leave a comment or give it a rating. I love to see when people make my recipes, so please tag me @youthsweets on Instagram if you post!
Strawberry Choux au Craquelin
Strawberry crème légère
- ½ cup light brown sugar (4 oz, 115g)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 4 oz, 115g) cut into ½-inch cubes, softened
- 2 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberry powder
- 4 ounces all-purpose flour (1 scant cup; 115g)
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- few drops red food coloring optional
- 1 batch choux pastry recipe from Serious Eats
Salted strawberry jam
- ⅓ cup strawberry jam (105g)
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- This is a labor intensive recipe. It can be done all in one day, but feel free to make the strawberry crème légère, craquelin and jam a day ahead of time. The assembled choux au craquelin needs to be served the same day they are made, so wait to make the choux pastry until the day of serving.
Make the strawberry crème légère
- Place the prepared strawberries in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Strain the strawberry juice mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard the pulp bits that do not pass through the sieve.
- Combine the strawberry juice, milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat.
- Combine the granulated sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk by hand or with beaters until light yellow and fluffy.
- Add flour and cornstarch and whisk until thoroughly combined and lightened even further.
- Slowly stream in warmed strawberry milk with a ladle while whisking vigorously to prevent cooking the eggs. Continue slowly adding in the milk mixture until it is all combined.
- Return the entire mixture to the medium saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk constantly until the pastry cream has thickened to a pudding consistency. This can take 5+ minutes. Remove from the heat promptly and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
- Cover with plastic and press down to touch the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 1 hour or place over a bowl of ice to chill it faster. While waiting on this to chill, feel free to move on to next steps and come back to finish this when you are ready to fill the choux.
- When the pastry cream is completely chilled, whip the ¾ cup heavy cream and freeze-dried strawberry powder until stiff peaks form. Reserve a bit for decorating, if desired. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the completely chilled strawberry pastry cream. Transfer to a large piping bag and set aside until ready to fill the choux.
Make the strawberry craquelin
- Prepare a sheet pan and two large rectangles of parchment paper. Combine the brown sugar and softened butter either by hand or with beaters until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour, strawberry powder and kosher salt. Mix to combine. Add food coloring, if desired, and beat to combine.
- Knead the dough with your hands* a bit and form it into a rectangle. Place it on top of one of the sheets of parchment paper. Cover with the second parchment paper sheet.
- Roll the dough between the parchment with a rolling pin until ⅛-inch thick. Place the dough between the sheets of parchment on the baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to freeze solid, about 5-10 minutes.
- Working quickly, remove the top piece of parchment and place it back on the sheet pan. Punch out circles of the frozen dough with a 2-inch round cutter. Transfer these circles back to the sheet pan lined with parchment. Freeze until ready to use.
Make the choux pastry
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper. On the backsides of the parchment paper sheets use a 2-inch cutter and pencil to mark 9 circles (in 3 rows of 3).
- Make the choux pastry according to Serious Eats’ instructions. Transfer to a piping bag, optionally fitted with a piping tip**.
- Hold the piping bag straight up and down, apply medium pressure and pipe dollops of choux batter in the middle of the 2-inch circles until just about reaching the border of the circles on one of the prepared pans. Reserve the rest of the batter for the next pan after baking the first.
Top with craquelin and bake
- Place one circle of frozen craquelin on top of each unbaked choux dollop before baking. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the bottom edges of the choux are golden brown. Turn off the oven.
- Working quickly, remove the tray from the oven briefly to poke holes in the bottom of the still hot choux with a paring knife to allow the steam inside to escape.
- Return the choux to the tray and return the tray to the oven. Use a wooden spoon to crack the door of the oven with the choux inside. Let the choux sit in there for 30 minutes before removing and allowing the choux to cool on a wire rack completely.
Make the salted strawberry jam
- Combine the strawberry jam and salt in a small bowl. Transfer to a small piping bag.
- Snip a small bit off of the end of the piping bags full of strawberry creme legere and the salted jam. You want a small enough opening so that you can insert the bag into the hole you created in the bottom of each choux.
- Fill each choux au craquelin first with crème légère and then with a bit of the salted jam. Some may spill out of the bottom hole, just swipe this away with a clean finger or paring knife.
- Garnish with reserved whipped cream, if desired, and a fresh or freeze dried strawberry slice. Serve immediately.