Thursday, April 5, 2012

Meyer Lemon Macarons

Just when you thought I was finished with the Meyer Lemons !  I haven't made macarons for quite some time-I was afraid I had lost the touch.  But I should have known that relying on Helene's recipe,you can never go wrong . The only difficulty I had was in using my oven. The last time I made macarons was in the old oven and with the new oven I wasn't used to the convection setting.  After 3 trays of macarons, I finally arrived at the perfect temperature- 305F for 14 minutes.

And since I had plenty of left over lemon curd from the cupcakes I made recently,  I chose to fill my little macaron babies with the lemon curd instead of butter cream.  So delicious and tart,it was like biting into a fresh lemon slice. Hmm,maybe someday I'll try adding a little vodka to the lemon curd and perhaps we will have Lemon Drop Macarons-doesn't that sound yummy ? This is another recipe from Helene's Blog Tartelette, can you tell I love that blog, since I recently made her cupcakes !

Meyer Lemon Macarons
adapted from Helene's basic recipe. 
I found this adaptation  at Delectable Deliciousness

*Please use your scale for precise  measuring
110 grams almond flour/meal
200 grams powdered sugar
90 grams aged egg whites (about 3)
30 grams granulated sugar
zest from 1 Meyer lemon
yellow food coloring (powdered or gel - see note below-next time I'm not using the food color, I like the neutral cream color of macarons)

About 24 hours before you plan to make your macarons, set your egg whites out in a clean bowl to age. Keep them loosely covered, at room temperature with a paper towel to keep any stray dust out. This helps remove some of the moisture and helps you achieve a meringue that is more stable.

Combine the almond flour, powdered sugar and zest. Get your hands in there and break up the clumps and lumps. You can sift if you like, but I prefer this more casual method. (I should have sifted as evidenced by my little bumpy macarons) . If you're using powdered food coloring, add it to the almond/sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, whisk your aged egg whites until they start to get foamy. Once you start to see enough foam to hide any remaining liquid egg white, sprinkle in your granulated sugar in a slow, steady sprinkle  . Continue to beat until you have a stiff, glossy meringue. This should take from 3-5 minutes in a stand mixer.
Add your almond/powdered sugar mixture all at once. Gently stir to break down your whites a bit, then begin a careful fold. The key is to not over-beat the batter. The goal is to achieve an oozy mass that looks similar to a very thick pancake batter. It should be oozy, like thick magma.

Transfer your batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip - #807 or #808 work best. Pipe your rounds onto Silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. You can trace a circle on the underside of your parchment, or just pipe for a count of 4.

Once your shells are piped, smack your baking sheet a few times on the counter to pop any air bubbles you may have lurking.  Let them sit at room temperature to dry for 30 minutes to an hour - or when the tops are no longer tacky to the touch.

Use a double baking tray,one inside of the other when you place them in the oven. Bake at 315 F for 18 minutes, or until the shells are hard and cooked all the way through. It's important to know your oven and check on your shells near the end of baking time.

A note on using food coloring with macarons - powdered is best but can be difficult to find at your local market (though is easily found online with a quick google search). One thing that I've found to work is to take gel food coloring (this probably also works with liquid food coloring, but I haven't tried it. Gel coloring is easily found at craft stores) and add it to the 30 grams of granulated sugar. Mix them together very well until the sugar is evenly coated. Spread the sugar out into a thin layer on a piece of foil. Turn your oven on to a low heat, such as 200 F and once it's reached temperature, turn it off. Place your colored sugar into the oven but leave the door open. After a few minutes, the sugar will be dry. Take the back of a spoon and break it up back into small granules, as it will be clumped together. Be sure to color your sugar more intensely than you want your macaron shells as the color will lighten once the rest of the ingredients are added.

1 comment:

bellini said...

I am intimidated by macarons so have never attempted them myself. Love these little lemon gems.