Black matte EVA platter. Available at www.etsy.com/shop/MaiaMingDesigns

When I look on Pinterest, I find people who have way surpassed my macarons in fanciness, there are painted ones, easter egg and animal-shaped ones, some which are such amazing works of art that I would never dare to eat them. I get a kick out of pinning the really fun ones on my Pinterest “Play with your Food” board (https://es.pinterest.com/maiaming/play-with-your-food/) but I have decided not to let this intimidate or inhibit my own macaron exploration.

In my household, there is a definite bias in favor of fruity flavored macarons. It had been a long time since I made lemon curd, and since I had not yet tried a fruit curd filling, this was a deciding point for making this latest batch of citrus macarons with an orange-lemon curd filling. I’ve seen macarons where the top shell was a different color than the bottom shell, and this is something I want to try next time a make macarons with two flavors…

I also decided to weigh all my ingredients for a change, instead of simply measuring the volumes, but I am going to put both measurements in this recipe for you.

Orange-Lemon Macaron Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond flour (100 grams)

1 cup confectioners’ sugar (100 grams)

2 egg whites, room temperature (75 grams)

1/4 cup castor sugar (65 grams)

note: I blended my regular sugar in the coffee grinder to make it finer instead of using castor sugar,

this worked fine

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

a pinch of salt

1-2 drops orange or yellow food coloring gel (make the color darker than you want your final macarons, because they will get lighter in baking)

orange and lemon zest to sprinkle on top of the macarons

LEMON CURD FILLING

(this will make more than you need for the macarons, but who doesn’t love fruit curd?)

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup orange juice

grated zest from half a lemon

grated zest from half an orange

6 well beaten eggs

DIRECTIONS

1. Sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar together through a fine-mesh sieve.

2. Whisk egg whites and salt at a low speed and add the castor sugar after a minute while the egg whites are still clear.

3. Beat the egg whites into stiff, glossy peaks. Start for two minutes at a low speed, then two minutes at high speed. (My blender only has two speeds.) The goal is to create the meringue peaks without over-whipping the batter. If the batter is over-whipped, the macarons tend to hollow out underneath the shells and there are more air bubbles.

4. Add half of the dry ingredients. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press the flat side of the spatula firmly through middle of mixture and rotate the bowl slightly. This process is called “macaronage” and reduces air bubbles in the batter. Add the second half of the dry ingredients and continue the macaronage until batter is glossy and flows like lava. Honestly, this is something that is part luck and part practice, there are countless videos online for how to achieve a proper macaronage!

5. Add the food coloring, vanilla and lemon juice towards the end of the macaronage process.

6. Rest a pastry bag inside a vertical cylinder to transfer the batter into the bag, then close the

top. Cut a small hole in the bottom tip of the pastry bag. The batter should be fairly stiff, but you don’t want it to come out too quickly, I cut my hole to less than 1 cm in diameter.

7. Either onto a parchment sheet or a macaron mat, pipe batter into 1 inch round cookies.

A macaron mat helps to make the cookies uniformly round and the same size, I also find the raised rims helpful to contain the batter from spreading out on the sheets. My macarons on parchment paper are never very round, but some people use a template with circles underneath the parchment paper.

8. Drop the baking sheets firmly onto the counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. With a toothpick, pop any remaining air bubbles and smooth out the holes before you let the macarons rest. Sprinkle a little zest onto the surface of each macaron. Let the macaron sheets sit for 30-40 minutes to dry so that they create a slight crust on the surface.

9. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

10. Place the macarons in the oven on a lower rack and lower the heat to 170ºC. Bake macarons for 16 minutes, after 8 minutes it’s a good idea to take the tray out and face the front to the back, this way both ends of the tray get evenly baked. Only bake 1 sheet of macarons at a time. If your macarons are very large, bake a few minutes extra.

11. Fruit curd filling: Mix and stir the butter, sugar, juices and zest over a low heat. Add the eggs gradually and stir continuously for 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens. Let cool before spreading onto your macarons.

12. Once the macarons are completely cooled, remove them from the sheets and use a butter knife or spatula to spread the filling on half of the cookie shell bottoms. Then sandwich the macarons together with the remaining shells. Just to be really decadent, I made some with pure lemon-orange curd and others with a 50/50 blend of whipped cream and curd, both were delicious. (The photos show the filling with whipped cream). Store the macarons in a closed storage tin in the refrigerator or in the freezer. I often keep the shells frozen and wait to fill the macarons right before serving.

Make a pot of tea and enjoy your macarons! As you can see, my kitty was very interested in these macarons, so try to save some for the humans too!

My kitty sniffing the macarons on posy plate from the Big Arrow-Maia Ming collection.

#lifestyleceramics #beautytexturewhimsy #simplepleasures #maiamingdesigns