Mayer Lemon Macarons
Going along with the cookie madness everyone’s going through before Christmas, I am adding one more recipe to the “cookie” collection. Even though, it’s difficult to call macarons ‘cookies’ because there’s no flour involved. Light and airy in texture with creamy, slightly tangy center these are fit for a king!
My local Costco store usually carries Mayer Lemons come winter. They sell them in a big container with about 15-20 lemons. I love the fragrant smell of Mayer lemons, which are native to China and are a hybrid between a lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. They’re still lemony like a lemon, but with a much more fragrant zest that is wonderful added to baked goods as well as a good cup of hot tea. Running out of things to make with my lemons I turned to my cook book shelf, found my “Advanced Professional Pastry Chef” book that I bought and started flipping through the pages in hope of finding something that would grab my eye. Amazing book I tell you, if only recipes were not in catering size portions, you know the ‘’”take 4 pounds of butter and 5 pounds of flour”, kind of portions. I had mercy on you, and did the scaling down myself, so you wouldn’t have half a bucket of buttercream and only 2 cups to use.
Mayer Lemon Macarons
For Macaron Shells
- 100 grams aged egg whites
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams almond flour|
- 200 grams confections sugar
- Food coloring paste (yellow)
Mayer Lemon Buttercream
- ½ cup egg whites (3.5 egg whites)
- 1 cup sugar
- 220 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ lemon (juice & zest)
- 50 grams white chocolate
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Line 2 jelly roll sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
- Prepare a piping bag with a ½ inch round tip.
- Separate egg whites from egg yolks, being careful not to contaminate the whites with the yolks. Measure out 100 grams of egg whites (about 3 eggs), cover with plastic and let stand at room temperature overnight. OR – microwave for 20 seconds, in 5 second intervals, mixing after each stop.
- In a bowl of a food processor, combine 200 grams powdered sugar and 100 grams almond flour or 100 grams peeled & slivered almonds (store bought). Pulse to combine, about 20 seconds. Then pulverize for about 2-3 minutes if started with almond flour or about 4-5 minutes if started with slivered almonds.
- Start whipping the egg whites with a pinch of salt.
- Once foamy, start adding the granulated sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Add the food coloring. Mix to somewhat incorporate.
- Add ½ the powdered sugar mixture and with a very quick mixing motions, make about 5-6 swirls with a spoon, to somewhat combine the meringue with the powdered sugar mixture. Add the other ½ of the dry ingredients and carefully fold it in until fully combined. Take care not to overmix. Stop when the batter falls in a thick ribbon and disappears in about 30 seconds.
- Fill the piping bag with batter and pipe out 1 inch circles onto parchment paper. Sprinkle half of the piped circles with dried cherries or cranberries. Slide the first sheet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Do the same with the second sheet once the first one is done.
- Remove from oven and let them cool. Carefully peel off the half cookies by lifting them up, or using a thin knife slide right under each cookie to release it.
- Place eggs and sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer, then set it over a pot with simmering water. Continuously stir with a ship until the temperature reaches 140, or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whip on high until stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch.
- Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir to incorporate.
- While continuing to whip on high speed, add room temperature butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Melt white chocolate in the microwave, by heating it in 10 second intervals and stirring each time. Do not overheat or the chocolate will separate). Heat only until most of the chocolate is melted, then continue stirring to melt the rest of the chocolate. Bring chocolate to room temperature and fold into the buttercream.
- Pair macarons by size. Make two rows, one with the top side up, with with the bottom side up.
- Fill pastry bag with buttercream and pipe a dollop of buttercream on the cookie that’s bottom side up. Cover with the other one and press for the filling to come closer to the edges.
- Place in a closed container and leave for 24 hours.
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