This month Jamie and Deeba, the Macaron Mistresses of Mactweets challenged us to create a macaron inspired by our favorite dessert.
No matter how many sweet culinary adventures I have had in my years of living in Europe and global travel, sometimes there is just no substitute for American dessert staples. My personal sweet hit parade includes Tollhouse chocolate chip and Quaker oatmeal raisin cookies of my youth.
Although it was tempting, I didn't want to create a cookie inspired by a cookie. So I thought about other desserts I miss easy access to and I had to go with my latest craving.
Lemon meringue pie was always a huge treat and I never passed up an opportunity to have a piece. So I dedicated this macaron to what I have always regarded as a slice of meringue heaven.
To be honest, I know these are a bit of a hot mess in the looks department. Filling macarons with baked meringue was not easy and it wasn't pretty either. I cracked a fair amount of shells in the process. But the flavor was just what I was hankering for. Mouth watering lemony meringue sweet and tart goodness.
Lemon Meringue Macarons
For the shells
I used the Tartelette's basic recipe (Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements) and adding extract and color.
- 3 egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
- 25-50 grams of fine granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 dab of paste or gel food coloring
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces and set aside.
- Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. (I also add a pinch each of salt and cream of tartar)
- Add the powdered sugar/almond mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. No more than 50 strokes all together. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Here is where I added a dab of yellow gel food coloring and 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
- Fill a Pastry bag and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a silpat. When I first started making macarons, I used to trace circles using a small cookies cutter onto the parchment. Then I would flip it over and use it as a guide for piping perfect circles.
Let the macarons dry for about one hour until they harden.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Bake for 18-20 minutes and here is the hard part - refrain from obsessively peeping though the oven window or opening the oven door to see if they get feet.
Let cool completely.
For the meringue filling:
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paperWhip egg whites until foamy.
- Slowly pour in the sugar.
- Whip until stiff.
- Spread out on the baking sheet to about a half inch thick
Using the edge of the spatula create peaks in the meringue by tapping it all over.
Bake until slightly browned about 8-10 minutes.
To assemble the Macarons:
Using a spoon or fork scrape a bit of the baked meringue and sandwich it between two macaron shells.