Return to Main Recipes Page/Return to Home Page

Piece Montee (P, TNT)
Source: The recipe passed on from my grandmother to my mother and now to me
Yield: 24 1" cream puffs, can easily be doubled or tripled

Cream Puffs:
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup hot water
1 cup unsifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, large or extra large

Filling for the Cream Puffs:
2 packages of pareve vanilla pudding mix cooked according to package directions (I usually substitute with 2 parts pareve milk to one part water)
1 8-oz. container of pareve whipped topping, whipped

Syrup Glue:
1-1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a 3-quart saucepan or larger, combine hot water and margarine. Bring to boil. Add flour and salt and cook mixture over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a stiff ball.

Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time beating vigorously until well mixed in.

Pipe 1" mounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I usually line my pan with foil) about 2" to 3" apart and bake 30 minutes or so until golden brown. Turn off oven and prick the puffs with a sharp knife point to let the steam escape and leave in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Cool on cookie rack. Then split and fill with whipped cream custard mixture.

For filling, fold the whipped topping into the cooled pudding mixture, and fill the cream puffs.

Simmer syrup ingredients over medium heat until mixture is bubbling. Insert candy thermometer and continue to cook until temperature reaches 290°F. Remove from heat. let cool slightly.

Now on a serving platter, arrange a circle of the filled cream puffs. As you are building up the piece montee, make sure you dip the bottom of each cream puff in a little honey syrup so they stick to the bottom layer. Continue to build up in the shape of a cone. When done, reheat the rest of the syrupy mixture to thin it out a little and drizzle the syrup all over the cream puffs. Sprinkle with crushed nuts as mentioned above and let sit for a couple of hours before serving.

[Archivist's Note: this pastry is also known as "croquembouche."]

Poster's Notes:
A piece montee is usually served at parties, like birthdays, bar mitzvahs, brissim. It is made up of filled small cream puffs stacked one on top of another in the shape of a cone. The cream puffs are dipped in a little honey that is used as glue to hold them. When the desired height is achieved (usually about 18", the puffs are drizzled with a little of the honey and before the honey gets too hard, it is sprinkled with crushed almonds, pecans or pistachios.

Posted by Simone Greenbaum

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A