This Raspberry Paris Brest is a beautifully nontraditional take on a very traditional French pastry. The name, Paris Brest, comes from a bicycle race that happens in France between (you guessed it) Paris and the town of Brest. According to Larousse Gastronomique, a pastry-cook, whose shop was along the route of the race, got it in his head to make a pastry shaped like the wheel of a bike from choux paste (the same pastry used for eclairs and profiteroles). He filled it with a butter-rich, praline flavored pastry cream.
My take on this classic involves lots of Driscoll’s Raspberries to lighten up the dessert and make it even more beautiful. Instead of stirring praline into the pastry cream, I made an easy raspberry quick jam out of fresh berries and then mixed it in. The result is fresh and light, which will be a welcome end to your holiday dinner. What makes Driscoll’s Organic Raspberries the perfect choice for this is that Driscoll’s has spent years carefully breeding Raspberries, and with thousands of berry varieties they select the top 1% to sell under the Driscoll’s name.
You can watch me make this raspberry pastry in my instagram video.
pâte à choux
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (135g) all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs* room temperature
- Egg wash 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract**
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch arrowroot will also work
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
Raspberry jam filling
- 2 sticks 226g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup raspberry quick jam recipe below or store-bought raspberry preserves
- Pinch salt
- Fresh raspberries for inside the Paris Brest
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the top of the Paris Brest
Raspberry Quick Jam
- 12 oz Raspberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Pâte à Choux
- Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a rapid simmer.
- Dump the flour in all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon over low heat. The dough will come together as a smooth ball and the bottom will have a skim of dough stuck to it.
- Remove dough from the pot and place in bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment. I love these beater blade paddles with the rubber sides, so you don’t have to scrape down the bowl. If you don’t have one, then scrape down the bowl after each egg.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each, until it comes together in a smooth paste. It will be thick enough to hold its shape, but thin enough to pipe easily.
- Fill a Piping Bag, fitted with a Large Round Decorating Tip (The opening should be 1/2-inch across) with the choux paste. Pipe the choux paste just inside the traced line on the parchment. Pipe a second circle, just outside the line traced on the parchment. The two lines should be touching. Pipe a third line of choux paste on top of the seam created by the first to lines. Repeat with the remaining Choux on the second prepared sheet.
- Gently paint the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle the almonds over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Turn the heat down to 350°F without opening the door. Bake at 350°F for an additional 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the pastry to cool in the oven for 1 hour.*if the dough is still too thick, whisk an extra egg and add a Tablespoon to the dough. repeat until the dough is pipable, but keeps its shape.
Raspberry Quick Jam
- (if not using store-bought preserves): Place the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice into a pan and use a fork to break up the raspberries just enough to produce a bit of juice. Simmer over a medium/low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often. The jam will cling to the spoon when it is done. Allow to cool before using.
- Bring the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla bean to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the egg and yolks to the cornstarch and mix into a smooth paste.
- Slowly, and in small amounts, whisk a little of the hot milk into a the egg mixture. This is called tempering the eggs, which you need to do to get them to the same temperature of the hot milk in the pan, so they won’t curdle.
- Once the egg mixture is warm to the touch, pour it back into the milk in the pan. Return the custard to the stove and bring to a boil, whisking continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. The pastry cream will thicken almost immediately but it is important to cook out the starch so that it isn’t grainy and so your pastry cream won’t separate. (separating pastry cream is when the liquid releases from the cream, easily prevented by cooking for 2-3 minutes!) When the pastry cream is done it will be smooth and glossy.
- Strain the pastry cream into a shallow container. Because the pastry cream is so thick you will need to press it through the strainer with a rubber spatula.
- Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Set the container in the freezer for 15 minutes (this cools down the eggs quickly) and then refrigerate for up to a few days.
Raspberry Jam Filling
- In a stand mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with the whisk attachment. Add the raspberry jam and salt, whip until well incorporated.
- Stir the cooled pastry cream until smooth, then add it to the raspberry butter 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape down the bowl as you add. Continue until the mixture is smooth and light.
Assemble the Raspberry Paris Brest
- Cut off the top of the baked choux paste in one piece (you will be replacing it on the top of the pastry).
- Use a Large Star Pastry Tip to pipe a thick layer of the raspberry filling into the bottom of the baked choux paste. Add fresh raspberries over the filling and then pipe a second layer of the raspberry filling.
- Place the cut choux paste over the top and dust with confectioners’ sugar.