Pearl, you guys.
I honestly think Pearl is one of the most nuanced, well-written and fleshed out characters on children’s television. Pearl’s actions often draw equal parts ire and joy from the fandom, which speaks volumes about her complexity… Steven Universe does characters exceptionally well to begin with, but even within the show, Pearl stands out.
My inspiration for her dessert came mostly from her dancing and movements. I felt something elegant and ballet-reminiscent suited her. The flavor of lavender is feminine and lovely, and the white peaches reflect Steven’s (and–spoilers–Rose’s) flavor profile.
Pearl may not be fond of eating, but I’d like to think she’d be pleased with these.
Eating food is so disgusting! You chew it into nasty mush, swallow that goop, and it comes out of you? What a completely horrid experience!
Pearl, confusing everyone because she was previously quoted as saying…
I *do* like pie!
She likes baking – it’s an objective art. More science than cooking. She likes the process of pie, even if she doesn’t eat it.
Steven Universe writer Matt Burnett
Pearl’s White Peach and Lavender Swan Choux
Pâte à Choux (Cream Puff Dough)
55g (4 tbsp) butter
75g (1/2 cup + 1 heaping tbsp) flour
90ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) milk
15g (1 heaping tbsp) sugar
1 pinch salt
90ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) water
2 eggs, well beaten
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F). In a saucepan, bring the butter, sugar, salt, water and milk to a rolling boil. Add the flour all at once and whisk vigorously. The dough will come together fairly quickly. Continue to mix the dough in the saucepan until it begins to form a skin on the bottom of the pot, then remove the dough from the heat and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
2. Mix the hot dough using an electric or stand mixer until it reaches room temperature (or is only lukewarm). This will take a while, so a stand mixer is best.
3. Begin mixing in the beaten egg a half tablespoon or so at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Your goal is to get the dough to where it falls from your mixing paddle in a v-shape, or where it is soft enough to stretch about 1″ if you squeeze a bit between your fingers and pull them apart. Do not add all of the egg if your dough is the correct consistency. If you have added all the egg and the dough is still too dry, you may add more than the 2 eggs listed.
4. Fill 3/4 of your filling into a piping bag fitted with a very large star tip (I used an Ateco 848). On a baking sheet lined with parchment, pipe 6 big shell shapes as shown above. A good tip is to keep your piping tip in the same spot as you squeeze to build volume, then stop squeezing as you taper off. Feel free to practice by piping a few; you can just lift the piped shells off and fill them back into the bag. Fill the remaining 1/4 of the batter into a smaller bag fitted with a large round tip (I used #10 but it was actually a bit thick for my liking, so I recommend a #9). Pipe 8 necks/heads as shown below (2 extra in case of breakage). If you want to estimate the appropriate size based on the bodies you piped and then draw a guide on the underside of your parchment to help, go for it. For a smooth line on the neck, hold the tip about 1/2″ above the parchment as you pipe and let the dough fall into the right position.
5. Place the choux in your preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (325°F) and bake until beautifully golden brown and dry. The swan heads will likely take less than 15 minutes to bake, whereas the choux bodies will take significantly longer. Use your best judgement and check on the choux every few minutes.
White Chocolate Lavender Mousse
240ml (1 cup) heavy cream
1 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp water
80g (3 oz) white chocolate
40ml (2 tbsp + 2 tsp) heavy cream
1.5 tsp dried culinary-grade lavender
Aqua or teal food coloring
1. In a saucepan, combine the lavender with the 40ml of heavy cream and heat, stirring periodically, until just steaming. Allow to sit for about 2 minutes, then pour the cream over the chocolate through a sieve to remove the lavender pieces. Allow to sit for about 2 minutes, then stir until all the chocolate has melted.
2. In a small bowl, sprinkle your gelatin over your water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the gelatin mixture to the cream/chocolate mix. If the chocolate mixture is still hot you can add the gelatin in directly, but if not you can heat the chocolate mixture up a bit and then stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Cool the mixture to about room temperature, but do not let it sit long enough for the gelatin to set.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the 240ml of heavy cream on low-to-medium speed until you have achieved medium peaks. Fold the chocolate mixture into the cream until well combined, then transfer to the fridge to set completely. This will take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on your fridge.
4. Once the mousse has set, transfer all but about 1/4 cup into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. In a small bowl, tint the 1/4 cup of mousse you set aside with a few drops of food coloring, then fill into a small piping bag fitted with a small round tip (I used a #3).
6x choux swan bodies
6x choux swan heads
White chocolate mousse in large star tip bag
White chocolate mousse (dyed blue) in small round tip bag
1 white peach, sliced very thinly
1. Begin by matching your choux bodies with the most appropriate size and shape of head. Now, using a knife, remove the top part of your choux. Rather than cutting acrosss, I did a V shape… but you can do whatever is easiest for you!
2. Pipe a large shell of white chocolate mousse into each body, then add the head. Using the blue mousse, pipe a pearl onto the forehead of each swan. Pipe a few dots on the sides of the bodies as well, if desired. Place one peach slice on either side of the swan to make the wings, and serve immediately.
These were subtle and not-too-sweet, plus the lavender gave them a fancy flavor that really suits Pearl! Be sure to pick a ripe and juicy peach; since there are only two small slices on each puff you want them to be as flavorful as possible. You can also serve them with some additional fanned out peach slices, of course.
If you won’t be serving these same-day, store the choux in an air-tight container by themselves to prevent softening and fill them shortly before serving. A good choux puff shouldn’t be too soft! That said, I highly recommend baking them same day if you can! There’s nothing quite like freshly baked, crisp choux pastry filled with cream. Yum.