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Eclairs are made from a classic French pastry called pâte à choux, which is also the base of cream puffs and delightfully cheesy gougéres. Making pâte à choux requires little more than a good saucepan, a wooden spoon, and a strong arm, but it is one of those recipes that feels like magic. I remember making cream puffs with my mom when I was about 10 and marveling over how the heat from the oven turned the paste we made on the stove into little pockets, perfect for stuffing with all sorts of good stuff. I used to fill them with ice cream, but this time of year a hefty spoonful of tart lemon cream is the way to go.
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In these cold months, we all need something to brighten up our spirits, and citrus fruit is just about the brightest, sunniest thing around. One of my very favorite citrus recipes is Tartine Bakery’s Lemon Cream, made with sweet and floral Meyer lemons if I can find them. I stumbled upon the genius recipe about a year ago and have made it countless times since. It is sweet, tart, and creamy all in perfect balance, and I love finding ways to tuck it into all sorts of desserts — like this fresh take on eclairs.