Profiteroles al Limone

For a truly scrumptious dessert, try Gino D'Acampo's delicious citrus version of a classic French dessert, ideal for dinner parties
By Gino D'Acampo
Profiteroles al Limone
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: hard



  • 250 ml cold water
  • 125 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 pinches sea salt
  • 125 g plain flour, Italian
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 1 unwaxed lemons, zest, cut into short, fine strips, to decorate
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, to decorate

For the lemon pastry cream

  • 375 ml full-fat milk
  • 0.5 vanilla pods
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 45 g plain flour, Italian
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, zest, finely grated


1. First make the lemon pastry cream. Place the milk and the vanilla pod in a medium saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat until the milk just reaches boiling point.

2. While the milk is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Add the flour and mix in until it is completely dissolved.

4. Gradually whisk one-third of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture.

5. Add the remaining milk all at once and blend thoroughly.

6. Pour the milk mixture back into the pan and return to the heat.

7. Cook gently, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

8. Turn off the heat, add the grated lemon zest and continue to stir for one minute.

9. Remove the vanilla pod and pour the pastry cream into a bowl. Place a piece of parchment paper on top in order to stop a skin forming and set aside to cool.

10. Preheat the oven to 220?C/gas 7 and butter two large baking sheets.

11. To make the profiteroles, combine the water, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium-heavy saucepan over a medium low heat.

12. Heat the mixture until the butter has melted, then bring to the boil.

13. As soon as the mixture comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat.

14. Add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon.

15. When the flour is thoroughly blended in, return the pan to the heat.

16. Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the saucepan forming a ball of dough.

17. Remove the pan from the heat and rest it on a damp towel. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to Incorporate each egg thoroughly before adding the next.

18. Scrape the profiterole mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle.

19. Pipe 24 small mounds of dough (about 4cm in diameter) and spaced about 5cm apart on to the two baking sheets.

20. Moisten your index finger with water and gently flatten the pointed peaks.

21. Place the baking sheets in the oven, staggered so that they are not on top of each other. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Reverse the position of the baking sheets after 15 minutes so the profiteroles bake evenly.

22. Turn off the oven and cool the profiteroles thoroughly in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

23. Whisk 125ml of the double cream until fluffy. Fold this whipped cream into the lemon pastry cream to lighten it.

24. Spoon this mixture into a piping fitted with a 5mm plain nozzle.

25. Cut a small slit on the side of each profiterole and fill each one with the pastry cream.

26. Lightly whip the remaining double cream.

27. Stack the profiteroles on a large platter and spoon the lightly whipped double cream over. Sprinkle with lemon zest, garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.

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