This month those juicy, fabulous and fruity Mactweets sisters Jamie and Deeba threw out the task of creating a macaron with a fruit theme. We have a garden of ripening fruit here so there's no lack of inspiration outside my door. However, years ago shortly after arriving in Germany, somewhere in the Alps I had my first taste of Rote Grütze and it blew my mind. This mixed berry concoction was served with vanilla sauce. Since that first taste, I've always wanted to make it myself and a perfect opportunity presented itself via Mactweets.
This treat is normally served with either vanilla sauce, vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream or sometimes mixed into yogurt. It was time Vanilla and Rote Grütze flavors were brought together for a macaron.
The truth is this dessert reminds me not of north Germany but of the south, those wonderful years of living in my beloved Munich. And what would my memories of Munich be without all those magical weekend escapes to the alps where I first was introduced to it.
|Skiing somewhere in the German alps - maybe Garmisch-Partenkirchen?|
One taste brings back of all the fun I have had in the alps. All the skiing and snowboarding weekends and numerous motorcycle trips clinging to the back of Dr. B's bike as we wound our way through Germany, Austria and Italy.
|A break from riding in the alps somewhere|
Some of the happiest times of my life.
After a long day on the slopes or hours on a bike, many times freezing cold from the crisp alps air (in June or January), there is nothing like a cozy dining room with a warm fire, good food, some brandy and this delicious dessert.
|Give me some Rote Grütze NOW or I will go all ninja on your @ss!|
The shells did not come out perfect. The idea was to pipe them bigger than usual hoping a larger size would help contain the thick berry mixture as Rote Grütze is a bit unwieldy for a macaron filling. This was a good call for the filling but the macs suffered. Unfortunately the resulting odd shaped shells had undesirable feet for a macaron or a snowboard. However, they tasted great. Rote Grütze itself is not too sweet and a bit tangy. The smooth flavor of the vanilla shells and added sweetness balanced the flavor of this macaron perfectly.
Vanilla Macarons with Rote Grütze Filling
For the Rote Grütze:
This recipe makes more than you need to fill the macarons but you will want extra to stir into ice cream, pudding or yogurt or give to your mother in law and watch her jump up and down with excitement (totally happened.)
- 1/2 cup each of mixed berries. I used 5 different varieties: red and black currents, red gooseberries, raspberries and (non berry) cherries totaling 2+1/2 cups.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sweet red wine
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- Clean and de-stem the berries and pit the cherries.
- In a saucepan toss the cleaned fruit with the sugar and the wine. Cover and let sit at least an hour.
- Heat up the mixture until the berries start to break down. Skim any foam off of the top and discard.
- In a separate small dish, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Add to the berry mixture whisking quickly to combine.
- When the Rote Grütze thickens remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Chill for several hours in the fridge before serving.
For the Vanilla Macaron Shells:
I followed the Tartelette's basic recipe. Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.
- 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 (minus 2 tablespoons)
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*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.
- Add the vanilla extract before the last couple of folds.
- Fill a Pastry bag and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry for about one hour until they harden.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon. Try to refrain from obsessive peeping to see if they get feet.
- Let cool completely and then match up the shells into pairs according to size and fill with Rote Grütze.