After many trials, I finally made some successful macarons. They're still not perfect, but they're heading in the right direction and they taste great, so I consider that a mini-success. Citrus right now is at its best, so I've been trying to use it as much as possible. When my parents had friends over, I made them meyer lemon ice cream, pistachio crumble, and a blackberry compote. Unfortunately, I didn't get to photograph it, but hopefully I well get to make it again, with some photos. For these macarons, I didn't use meyer lemons, but I'm sure they would do well with this recipe.
A little while ago, I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, Cannelle et Vanille, when I came across a recipe for raspberry macarons that used raspberry powder. I did a little research to find out that it was dehydrated raspberries crushed into a powder. The macarons sounded so good, I knew I had to make them, or at least try to. But raspberry powder is a tricky thing to find anywhere but online. I was a little defeated and kind of gave up on the idea, as I didn't really want to order anything online at that moment.
So, one day I was at Trader Joe's, just getting some groceries, when I noticed they had a selection of dehydrated fruits, like strawberries and bananas. I threw some in the basket and didn't use them for a couple months. But then, the other day, I saw them at the back of the cabinet and decided I would try out my idea. I took the dehydrated strawberries and finely chopped them, then used a bench scraper to pulverize the strawberries and I was left with a fine powder. I proceeded to make the macarons, and they turned out well. They have a nice, subtle strawberry flavor. If you happen to see any other kinds of dehydrated fruits, I suggest you try them out!
Adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
140 grams egg whites
3 grams egg white powder
80 grams sugar
180 grams almond flour
240 grams powdered sugar
2 grams salt
8 grams dehydrated strawberry powder
2 drops red gel food coloring
Let the egg whites come to room temperature, uncovered, overnight.
Sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, salt, and strawberry powder.
Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with the egg white powder until frothy, and almost to stiff peaks. Add the sugar gradually while whipping. Add the red food coloring and continue whipping to stiff peaks.
Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a spatula until a shiny meringue forms. The batter should make ribbons when the whisk attachment is pulled off the mixer.
Once you have the right consistency, place the batter in a pastry bag with a large, circular tip. Pipe small rounds onto sheetpans lined with parchment or silpat. You can use a cookie cutter or other template to draw perfect circles on the other side of the parchment paper. Let them sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes to an hour. The top should be shiny and dry before being put in the oven.
Preheat the oven 300 degrees F. Place one sheetpan in the oven at a time and bake for 8 minutes and rotate sheetpan and bake for another 2-3 minutes.
For amazing, very specific directions, I suggest you go to Tartelette's Macaron Tutorial. It is about half way down the main page, on the right side.
1 stick butter
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a double broiler, melt butter completely, then remove top of double broiler from heat, but leave the water to boil.
Add lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, and salt to melted butter and stir thoroughly. Put back over heating water, and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add egg yolks to the mixture, and continue to whisk over medium heat until it is a custard consistency and coats the back of a wooden spoon and leaves a clean trail when a finger is dragged across. Do not let it boil.
Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover surface with plastic wrap, pressing down so that a skin does not form on the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
You will have a little left over if using this recipe for the buttercream (below).
Lemon Curd Buttercream
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup lemon curd
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or more for correct consistency)
Combine ingredients in a stand mixer until smooth. You may need more powdered sugar for a frosting consistency that you can pipe.