Does eating dairy-free result in eating boring foods? No! These cream puff shells fluff up perfectly and are perfect for a spring lunch. Fill them with your favorite filling whether it is sweet or savory. If by chance you have too many, they freeze great. Just warm them up in the oven to crisp them up again.
I chose to use oil in this recipe, because oil is substantially cheaper than non-dairy margarine. (Read more about it in Replacing Butter) Today, I used canola oil, but I imagine that any oil will perform similarly. Some oils, like olive oil, also have a flavor, so keep that in mind and use a filling that will compliment the oil in the shell.
Cream Puff Pastry
(Makes about 15 medium sized shells)
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a saucepan, boil water and oil. Add flour and salt, stirring vigorously until mixture forms a ball. (See first picture). Remove from heat. Let cool 5-8 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until it is completely mixed with each egg. If you are hard-core, use a spoon, but I prefer the hand mixer. 🙂 The batter will be sticky, (see the second picture.)
I spoon the batter onto the baking pan. Scoop the batter with one spoon and scrape the batter off onto the pan with the back of a second spoon. Another alternative is putting the batter into a pastry bag and piping it out onto the baking pan.
Bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. If your cream puffs are extra-large, turn down the heat to 375°F after 15 minutes and bake for another 10 minutes. Poke a hole with a thin sharp knife to let the steam out. Let cool. Fill with a delicious filling.