Preheat the oven to 425°F and line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. This recipe makes about 24 puffs so it will take 3 batches to bake with 8 puffs per baking sheet.
Add the water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt to a medium saucepan on the stove and mix over medium to high heat. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Add flour and quickly stir into the mixture. It really starts to form more of a dough at this point.
Return the pan to the stovetop on medium heat and stir constantly for a few minutes, cooking until mixture pulls away from the pan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan. This happened pretty quickly for me.
Transfer the dough to a stand mixer or bowl and beat on low speed for 3-4 minutes until the mixture has cooled. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until each is fully mixed in. Mix until shiny and almost ribbon like.
Place the dough in a pastry bag with a round tip. Pipe round circles spaced at least 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Try not to pull up and leave a peak, but you can smooth down with your finger if needed.
Place one baking sheet at a time in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, until golden and airy. Keep an eye on them because they brown quickly! Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat step 5 for the rest of the pastry dough and make sure your oven heats back up to 425°F before the next pan goes in.
Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and begin whipping at medium speed. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip on medium speed. Add the vanilla and whip the cream on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy.
Once your puffs have cooled, cut them open with a serrated knife, trying to keep the top slightly attached. Your puffs should be airy inside with some nice holes to work with.
At first, I placed a dollop of curd and swirled some whipped cream inside from a pastry bag. It worked fine but I really wanted to get equal amounts of whipped cream and lemon curd in each bite. So, I filled my pastry bag with half whipped cream and half lemon curd. It worked perfectly, like a swirl of frozen yogurt with two flavors. Yum!! Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar on top and enjoy!
You will need 2-3 medium-large Meyer lemons. They aren't usually very big, so keep that in mind. You can also use regular lemons.
If you make your own lemon curd, it needs to chill for at least an hour, so make it first or ahead of time.
Plan ahead and pull out your eggs, milk, and butter ahead of time because they need to be at room temperature.
You need 2 pastry bags, one for the puffs, and one for the whipped cream (if you want it to be fancy). If you don't have pastry bags, you can always use ziplock bags and cut off one corner.
Don't be like me and open the oven door a few times to check on your puffs, they need the heat to get puffy! In fact, just leave it closed the whole time 😆.
Zest your lemons BEFORE your juice them.
For the best results when making the whipped cream, make sure the cream and your bowl are nice and cold before you start whipping. Keep both in the freezer until you are ready to start.
Store any leftover puffs in a covered container in the fridge. They will last 2-3 days.
Nutrition facts are for the cream puff only with no filling.