Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Feast: Sainte Thérèse de l'Enfant-Jésus et de la Sainte Face

The Little Flower(1873-1897)

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face was a young French woman who died at the age of 24 but was so in love with Jesus that her writings have claimed for her the title of "Doctor of the Church" -- throughout the history of the Catholic Church, there have been only 33 people named "Doctor", and one of only 3 female Doctors (Sts. Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila are the other two).

St. Therese, whose sisters were fellow Carmelites ... whose parents' cause is currently up for beatification (scheduled for October 18, 2008) ... whose life was full of ill-health, hardship and humility. This "little woman" with her "little way" proved the dignity of humility and subjugating self-will to the will of God.

We were fortunate to be able to visit Lisieux in 2000 on our European Pilgrimage. We stayed next door to the Carmelite monastery, went to Mass in the Chapel where St. Therese prayed, walked the streets where Therese too walked. What a wonderful time!

One small fact we learned at the time was that St. Therese LOVED eclairs. So, with String Bean helping (and keeping a watchful eye on the progress), we made luscious eclairs ... a specialized version that we dubbed "Little Flower's Eclairs" ...
from the reaction of the family, these will become a tradition every October 1st!Here's how we made it:
Little Flower Eclairs!
Batter: 1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Filling: 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Glaze: 1 cup chocolate chips
2 tbls butter
3 tbls hot strong coffee or hot water (or more)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a No. 10, or larger, tip, spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake 20 minutes more, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling, combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl according to package directions. Stir in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.

For the icing, melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate till chips are all melted. Stir in the 3 tbls of hot coffee – add more if needed to make glaze “drizzle-able”. Drizzle over filled eclairs.

Refrigerate until serving. (We made 7 eclairs from this recipe, but I didn't have a pastry bag and had to do the rectangular shape by hand -- you may get more out of it!)
Would that me and mine would be remembered for fulfilling these words of the Little Flower:
“I have only ever sought the truth”.

1 comment:

MaryM said...

Homemade eclairs - how yummy!