This isn’t going to be one of those blog posts complaining about how mysteriously difficult and finicky macarons are to make. I’m starting to believe that people over-think them and stress out over making them so much that that might be the actual problem. I used to be like that – I was mystified by the extensive directions and odd variables that came along with every long-winded post about making macarons. I watched videos on YouTube, studied photos, read countless recipes.
I’m no expert (I’ve only made macarons a handful of times) but I had a lightbulb go off in my head this time I made them: there’s a few basic steps to making macarons, all things I’ve done a million times before in other recipes. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks, fold in dry ingredients, pipe onto a baking sheet. 3 basic steps. I didn’t worry about the consistency of the batter, I didn’t dry out my almond meal in the oven, I didn’t use superfine sugar, and I didn’t age my egg whites for 3-5 days.
And you know what? They turned out fine.
When I was looking up more information about aging egg whites (which I’m not convinced you need to do really), I ran across this post on BraveTart: macaron mythbusters. A professional baker debunks many of the methods that I’ve read in most macaron recipes. It’s a good read for anyone out there who is intimidated about making macarons.
These Meyer lemon macarons are the perfect answer to the question my Meyer lemon curd recipe poses: what do you do with 6 leftover egg whites? Make macarons! It made sense to fill them with the Meyer lemon curd itself, but you can fill them with store-bought lemon curd or a more traditional ganache filling.
My only complaint about these is that the curd is much gooier than a ganache, so it was a bit messier than a traditional macaron. However, that being said, the Meyer lemon curd has such a bright citrus flavor, it’s like biting into sunshine. It makes these little cookies taste like bites of spring, and I wouldn’t change that one bit.
How to make macarons:
Prep piping bag with large round tip. Place a clip near the tip to stop the batter from flowing out and place it in a tall glass. Fill will batter, twist the top of the bag closed and remove clip when ready to pipe.
Pipe macaron batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (and try to make them more even than I did). Pipe batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Let batter rest for at least 45 minutes, or until they no longer feel sticky to the touch. Brush your finger against the cookies – if they don’t feel dry, wait and try again in 15 minutes.
Check to see if macarons are done by grabbing the top of one macaron and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Pair up macarons of the same size. Spoon a little lemon curd onto one cookie. Place the other cookie on top and press down gently.
Meyer Lemon Macarons
Makes 20 large macarons (around 2-3″)
- 220 grams almond meal (you can make your own using blanched slivered almonds)
- 400 grams powdered sugar
- 200 grams egg whites (around 5-6 large eggs), aged in the fridge for 3-5 days (I only left them overnight; not sure how necessary this step is)
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- Powdered food coloring (optional)
- Homemade Meyer lemon curd (or store-bought lemon curd)
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mats.
If you’re using almonds: place in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
If you’re using almond meal: run through a sifter. Place in food processor.
Add powdered sugar to food processor and pulse a few times until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites for a few minutes until they are foamy. Place mixer on low and slowly add the granulated sugar to the foamy egg whites. Continue beating until egg whites have soft peaks. Add powdered food coloring if desired. Continue beating egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg whites and fold them in with a spatula. Add remaining dry ingredients and fold them in.
Fit a large round tip (I used one that is 1 1/2 inches) onto a piping bag and place a clip above it so batter won’t flow out while you fill the bag. Place the bag on a tall glass to hold it up and fill it with the batter. Twist the top shut and remove the clip. Pipe circles (I made them 2-2 1/2 inches) onto the prepared baking sheets.
Let batter rest for around 45 minutes, until it feels dry (and not sticky) to the touch. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 300°F.
Bake for 15-17 minutes (if you made them smaller, bake them for 12 minutes). Check to see if macarons are done by grabbing the top of one macaron and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension. Remove from oven and let cool completely before adding filling.
Store macarons in the refrigerator. Let sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
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