I had a day off and felt like making macarons. Macarons are the sort of food you just can’t make in a hurry. It’s always a pleasure figuring out what kind of flavor you’re going to make, since there are a zillion different combinations. I browsed at my ever-expanding collection of food extracts and settled for lemon. Two reasons: a) Indian summer is almost over so it will be the last time in a long time that I feel the need to bake something with lemons (for readers in the southern hemisphere, this is the perfect treat for spring!), and b) I recently bought some Chivers© lemon curd in a specialty shop so I found good use for it (also, I hate making lemon curd from scratch). Anyways, I feel like I finally learned making macarons and I proudly rate these cuties 5- out of 5! A real Pierre Hermé macaron would get a 5.
Macarons au Citron: Pierre Hermé - Macarons, via Bilingual Butter
Ingredients for macaron shells:
- 300g almond powder
- 300g confectioner's sugar
- 110g "liquified" egg whites (placed in a bowl and put in the refrigerator for at least 72 hours before use)
- 0,5g golden yellow food coloring
- 10g lemon yellow food coloring
- 300g granulated sugar
- 75g mineral water
- 110g "liquified" egg whites
Ingredients for lemon curd: (I used a store-bought lemon curd)
- 225g eggs
- 240g granulated sugar
- 8g lemon zest
- 160g fresh lemon juice
- 350g high-quality butter
- 100g almond powder
- A day prior to making the macarons, prepare lemon curd. Rince and dry lemons before grating them. Rub zest and granulated sugar together with both hands.
- Mix lemon juice, zest/sugar, and eggs together in a bowl. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Beat until mixture is up to 83-84°C. Let it come back down to 60°C, and add butter cut into pieces. Beat until curd is smooth, and beat with a stand mixer for another 10 minutes.
- Pour curd in a large, shallow dish. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the curd. Store in fridge.
- The next day, sift confectioner's sugar and almond powder together. Add food coloring to the first bowl of "liquified" egg whites and mix. Pour onto the sugar-almond mixture, without mixing them together.
- Bring water and sugar to a boil, 118°C. When the syrup reaches 115°C, start beating second batch of egg whites with a stand mixer. Pour syrup onto the whites (which should be at soft peak stage by now), continue beating and wait until mixture is down to 50°C before incorporating it into the sugar/almonds mixture.
- Pipe mixture onto a parchment paper-covered baking sheet, making round shapes approx. 3,5cm in diameter. Space them approximately 2cm apart from one another.
- Tap baking sheet on kitchen counter, and let macaron tops crust for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Bake tops for 12 minutes, opening oven door twice. After removing them from the oven, place parchment paper on counter or table.
- Mix lemon curd with the remaining almond powder. Pipe onto half of the macaron tops, covering them with the remaining tops.
- Place macarons in the fridge for 24 hours, bringing them back to room temperature for 2 hours before eating.
* If you prefer to work with cups, you can use this recipe. Substitute the red food coloring for yellow, and add a few drops of lemon extract to the batter. Also, I've written down some helpful tips here.