Thank you, everyone. ;o)
Epicurious say two hours:
There are other recipes that say the day before; that works better if you enjoy a softer shell, so it's really a judgment call on you. Of course, the ones in the glass case at the pastry shop are probably from that morning or the day before.
The choux ring itself can be frozen and reheated in a oven to crisp up.
Thank you, cv. Very helpful. Especially the tip on freezing and reheating the ring in the oven to crisp up. Most appreciated. ;o)
Final assembly takes a couple of minutes something I'd do a few minutes before serving. After all, it's just cutting the choux ring in half, piping the pastry cream, then sprinkling some praline and powdered sugar.
You can prefill the pastry bag a few hours before. You know the trick to scrunch the pastry bag into the tip so the cream doesn't flow out, right? Just leave it like that and keep cool in the fridge.
cv, I'm not aware of that tip. Can you describe it a bit more? Sounds helpful! I probably will pipe in the cream right before serving. As you say, it only takes a few minutes. ;o)
Start watching this video at the 0:55 mark:
Alternately, you could tie a piece of twine at the tip, but scrunching usually works.
Pre-filling pastry bags works well when you want to knock out a bunch really quickly. You don't have to spend any (or less) time refilling pastry bags. Plus you might be able to wash the custard/cream container earlier.
Or have two and have someone else refill the pastry bags.
It's just a little efficiency trick.
aj, you might enjoy this tip for no-muss/no fuss piping:
i would fill it just before serving.
L B F, yes, yes, yes! That's so helpful. I've never heard of doing that, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you, from the bottom of my forever grateful heart. ;o)
Very nifty! I'm wondering why we all didn't think that up on our own, to plop what's being piped onto plastic wrap, roll it into sausages, open one end, and put the whole thing into the pastry bag. Thanks for sharing that.
Ah, Antonia! You are making P-B for Christmas too! When I made it last year in Lyon with Lucy Vanel, she suggested not making the caramel-ly nuts too far ahead, especially if the weather is damp. It could get gummy.
Excellent advice, ChefJune, and timely as well. Drought-weary California (this area, at least) is happily expecting rain starting tomorrow and continuing off and on through Christmas day. I had planned to make the praline this weekend. Now, I'll wait. Thank you! ;o)