Key Lime Éclairs & Lime Zest Frosting

Today I became a baker with these key lime éclairs! I have been telling you for over a year now that I am not a baker, and…well okay, I’m still not a baker, but maybe I am getting closer. Not a baker yet, but I can proudly declare I earned my Brownie Baking Interest Badge.

I can at least say, I can bake or at the least put my baking phobia behind me. Because, and pardon the “yipee” and happy dance, I pulled together a key lime éclair concoction that melts in the mouth in lush creaminess with the perfect lime nuances. It’s still ugly as sin, but it tastes delightful!

A few days ago, I pulled some limes off of my daughter’s key lime tree, lived with them, considered them, held them, until finally a recipe came together in my head. Next step, create, try, revamp, repeat, and finally succeed! I give you key lime éclairs with a lime zest frosting?

The key lime filling starts with a delicious lime curd that gets whipped with some heavy whipping cream. The buttery pastry bakes to a golden fluffy éclair and is topped with a beautiful lime frosting and garnished with lime zest.  

Lime Curd:

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/3 cup key lime juice (they are small little devils, so yes, you are going to need several), and a pinch of salt. Hand whisk until blended.

Add 3 tablespoons cubed unsalted butter. Cutting the butter into chunks allows the butter to melt evenly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.

Pastry:

While the lime curd cools start the pastry. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup milk, 1 stick cubed unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 cup flour and stir until a soft dough forms.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wacky wooden spoon until slightly dried, about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl and using a hand mixer beat in 4 eggs, one at a time until smooth. As always when baking, make sure your eggs are at room temperature.

Using a piping bag, pipe 4-inch lines of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cut the tip of the piping bag to 1-inch to make the perfect éclair. Also, there is a lot of dough for one bag. You might want to work in batches. Place the baking sheets in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Key Lime Filling:

Attach the whisk attachment to a standup mixer. In the mixing bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until peaks form. Fold in the lime curd. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Key Lime Eclairs:

Made a wide incision in the side of each éclair. Transfer the key lime filling into a piping bag and fill each pastry with cream. Get this in the éclair as soon as possible because if you don’t, you’ll be tempted to pipe this directly into your mouth and that’s just not a good look! Not that I did that or anything.

Lime Frosting:

in a medium size bowl, mix 1½ cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon key lime juice until blended. Add 3 – 5 tablespoons heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. Immediately spread over the éclairs. Garnish with some freshly grated lime zest.

Key Lime Éclairs
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Cooling Times
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: baking, fresh, zesty
Servings: 10
Author: Ella @ thewackyspoon.com
Ingredients
KEY LIME FILLING
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
THE PASTRY
  • 1 ⁄2 cup milk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
LIME FROSTING
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Instructions
Make the Filling:
  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, egg, lime juice, and salt. Whisk until blended. Add butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate until cool. In a large bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar until peaks form. Fold whipping cream into chilled key lime curd. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Make the pastry:
  1. Heat the oven to 425°. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, butter, salt, and 1⁄2 cup water to a boil over high heat. Add flour; stir until a dough forms. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until slightly dried, about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl and, using a hand mixer, beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
  2. Using a piping bag, pipe 4-inch lines of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Place the tray in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, and cool.
To assemble the eclairs:
  1. Make a wide incision in the side of each pastry. Transfer the key lime filling into a piping bag and fill each pastry with cream.
Make the frosting:
  1. Place the powdered sugar in a medium-size bowl. Mix in the lime juice. Add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Immediately spread over the éclairs. Garnish with lime zest, if desired.
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Author: Ella

Just a girl who loves to cook farm-to-fork foods living the dream!

16 thoughts

    1. Thanks, Dale! We do not get key limes either, normally. She brought one back from the keys and somehow it is still alive. Her ficus plant, the easiest plant to keep alive, dead! But this key lime tree, alive and thriving in Illinois. (shrug)

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