Perfect flavors for the fall season fill fancy, but not really that hard to make cream puff pastries.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Apple Cream Puffs and Pumpkin Cream Puffs (Prep. time about 1 hour. Make 18 cream puffs)

For the Pâte á choux ( Puffed pastry.  Pronounced: “Pat-ah-shoo”)

1 C. water

½ C. butter

4 eggs

1 C. flour

Pastry Cream filling

2 C. milk

1/4 C. sugar

pinch of salt

2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg

¼ C. corn starch

2 Tb. butter, cut in small pieces

Apple cream flavoring

½ apple, peeled, finely diced

1Tb. butter

1 Tb. sugar

1 tsp.  cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. lemon zest

pinch of salt.

Pumpkin cream flavoring

½ C. canned solid pumpkin

1 Tb. brown or granulated sugar

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)

pinch of salt

Start with the pastry since you can make the pastry cream while the Pâte á choux is baking.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a sauce pan, heat water and butter to a rolling boil.  Stir in the flour and reduce heat to low and continue to stir vigorously until the dough forms into a ball. Remove from heat.  With a hand mixer (don’t try this by hand or your arm will look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ow!), beat in all the eggs until incorporated and smooth.  Using a large soup spoon or small ice cream scoop, spoon onto an ungreased or parchment-lined sheet pan, about 2-3 inches apart and bake about 20 minutes until puffed and golden.

While the pastry is baking and cooling, melt the butter for the apple filling in a sauté pan.  Stir in the apples and cook until tender.  Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and salt. Set aside.  Stir together the pumpkin flavoring ingredients and set aside.  In a sauce pan, bring the milk up to almost a simmer and remove from heat.  Whisk together the eggs. Stir together the sugar and corn starch and whisk into the eggs. Remove about a cup of the warm milk and slowly whisk into the eggs. Repeat with about another cup of milk until the egg mixture is warm. (This is called "tempering" the eggs.) The egg mixture then can be whisked into the rest of the warm milk without cooking and curdling the eggs. Stir in butter and allow to cool and thicken.  Divide the cream into separate bowls and add the apple mixture to one and the pumpkin to the other.

After the filling has cooled, cut the pastries in half. (SURPRISE! They’re hollow!)  Spoon the cream in the middle and put the top back on.  Another option is to poke a hole in the side of a pastry with the larger end of a chop stick and twist the stick around to make sure you have a nice, hollow cavity. Fill a pastry bag that has a fairly large tip with the filling and pipe the filling into the pastry.  Dust with powdered sugar if you like to serve.