I’ve been posting a lot of lemon recipes lately. Since I love lemons so much, H offered to plant a lemon tree for me (along with a lime and cherry tree)!
I tried a new recipe for lemon macarons and despite overfolding (again), they came out well. I was quite surprised because I thought they were going to be disastrous. But then I thought back to the macarons with chocolate ganache I made in April. The batter was so runny that I couldn’t even pipe the batter, it came oozing out, yet, they were my best batch yet! Go figure.
I added lemon zest to the icing sugar and almond flour. I also incorporated homemade lemon curd into my standard buttercream to use as a filling. I didn’t wait long enough for the curd to thicken, thus the buttercream was a bit watery, and was not smooth. When making lemon curd, continue to cook until it coats the back of a spoon.
If this is your first time making macarons, I would highly recommend reading “Demystifying Macarons” by Helene Dujardin. You can also look at my previous posts on macarons. Just enter macarons in the top right search bar.
Adapted from Fine Cooking.com
Makes approximately 30 macarons
- 7-3/8 oz. (1-3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp) icing sugar
- 4-3/8 oz. (1-1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp) almond flour
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature (aged for a minimum of 3 days)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Make the batter:
- Line 3 flat baking sheets with parchment or non-stick baking liners and set aside
- In a food processor, pulse the icing sugar, almond flour and lemon zest several times. Using a medium-mesh sieve, sift the mixture into a large bowl and set aside
- In a clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy and the wires of the beater leave a trail, 1 to 2 minutes
- Add 1 tbsp of the granulated sugar and continue to whip for another 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times with the remaining granulated sugar. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, continue whipping the whites until they turn glossy and stiff (when you lift the beater from the bowl, the whites should hold a straight peak that doesn’t curl at the tip), 4 to 8 minutes more
- With a large rubber spatula, fold in half of the flour mixture. Once most of it has been incorporated, fold in the remaining mixture until just combined. It’s important to not over-fold
Pipe the cookies:
- Using a piping bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip, pipe the batter onto the prepared sheets in rounds that are about 1 inch in diameter. As you pipe, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and flick the tip of the bag as you finish each cookie to minimize the peaks
- Rap the sheet against the counter several times to flatten the mounds and pop any large air bubbles with a toothpick
- Let rest until the meringues no longer feel tacky, 30 – 40 minutes. Longer if it’s a humid day
- Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F
Bake the cookies:
- Put 2 of the cookie sheets in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 300°F (let the third sheet sit at room temperature)
- Bake, rotating the sheets and swapping their positions after 8 minutes, until the meringues are very pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes total. Keep checking as oven temperatures vary
- Cool completely on the baking sheets on racks
- Meanwhile, return the oven temperature to 325°F and then bake the third sheet as above
- Remove the meringues from the parchment and pair them by size
Lemon Curd recipe – click here
Substitute lime zest/juice for lemon
Buttercream recipe – click here
Fold a small amount of lemon curd to the finished buttercream until you reach the desired flavor. Do not add more than ¼ cup, or your buttercream will be runny. If you’re pressed for time, just add 1 – 2 tsp lemon extract to your buttercream, and omit the lemon curd.
- Sesame Macarons: Using a spice grinder, grind 2 tbsp sesame seeds to a fine powder. Add the powder to the flour mixture while sifting; proceed as directed. Sprinkle the meringues with a few sesame seeds as soon as you pipe them
- Vanilla Macarons: Scrape and add the seeds from one-quarter of a vanilla bean to the egg whites after they’ve formed glossy, stiff peaks. Distribute the seeds evenly throughout the batter by pressing the clumps of seeds against the edge of the bowl with a spatula. Proceed as directed
- Chocolate Macarons: Reduce the amount of almond flour by 7/8 oz. (1/4 cup) and substitute 1/2 oz. (3 tbsp) cocoa powder; proceed as directed