Photograph by Camila Falquez food styling by Maggie Ruggiero 
Prop Styling by Amy Wilson

Jane Campion

Lady Grey Éclairs

Desserts from Issue 11 – Summer 2017 – Heroines

It is in the outlier that New Zealand-born director Jane Campion has always found her muse. Her films herald complicated and tenacious female protagonists—like Ada, the mute Scotswoman with the virtuosic musical ability played by Holly Hunter in The Piano—always against a rich and sweeping visual backdrop. Our éclairs, as narrow and elegant as Ada’s beloved piano keys, are layered with Lady Grey-tea infused custard and coated with pitch-black chocolate sauce—fittingly dark and striking.

makes 12 éclairs

Lady Grey Custard Filling
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 bags Twinings Lady Grey tea
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 ½ Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, whipped when assembling éclairs

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup black cocoa powder (at or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cup heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 24 (one 7-oz pkg) Savoiardi cookies (crisp Italian ladyfingers, not the spongy ones)

  • 1

    For custard: Heat milk and tea bags in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the milk has small bubbles around the edges; remove from heat. Whisk yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth. Remove tea bags from milk and pour half 
of the hot milk into the yolks in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Whisk egg mixture into the remaining milk and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, until custard is thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain through fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until chilled, or up to two days.

  • 2

    For icing: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder, and gradually add the cream, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and glossy; do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

  • 3

    Just before serving, whip heavy cream and fold just enough into the custard until it’s lightened but still thick. Sandwich lady fingers with about 1 Tbsp custard and then drizzle with icing.