If at any time you have had too much sweets to taste, lemon macarons are something you should try last. These macarons help cut through the acidity of the sweetness and cleanse the palette. Lemon being another favourite ingredient of mine, I always make sure there is an abundance of them at home, so I can make everything with Lemon from curd to lemon drizzle cake.
Now back to macarons. I have been making these beauties for over 5 years now, and I can assure you they do not always turn out as perfect as the illustrated images, sometimes there are a number of variables that affect how they turn out. From the quality of the ingredients especially the ground almonds, timing in the oven, type of oven to the prevailing humidity will all determine the texture, physical appearance and how long it will keep.
However, do not let this discourage you. Macarons are something you can delight your friends, family and neighbours with once you have mastered the art of making this patisserie. The macaron shells are standard no matter what colour or flavour you are making, but with a caveat. In trying to flavour the shells you risk affecting the texture and consistency of the shells, therefore my advice will be to pack flavour into the filling and only colour the shells.
If you need any advice with making your macarons drop me a line and I will endeavour to reach out to you and let me know how it went.
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g icing sugar
- 50g egg white
- 4g yellow food colouring paste
For the Italian meringue
- 100g caster sugar
- 40g egg white
- 70g water
For the lemon filling
- Zest of 2 large lemons
- 70g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 250g icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 20g lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract paste
To make the macaron shells
- Sift the ground almonds and the icing sugar in a large bowl, mix together thoroughly and make a well in the mixture as shown in the images below.
- Take the 50g egg white and add the yellow colouring paste and mix together until fully combined. Once combined, add the coloured egg white to the well and set aside.
- For the Italian meringue add the water to the caster sugar in a heavy based pot and heat until the temperature reaches 113°C. At 113°C begin to whisk the egg white.
- Once the sugar solution reaches 118°C empty the sugar solution into the soft meringue whisking at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Once the meringue is formed place two thirds into the icing sugar and ground almond mix and combine as shown in the images below. You do not need to worry about loosing the air bubbles when mixing, just ensure you achieve the glossy finish.
- Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Place the macaron template under the parchment paper to help guide when piping.
- Once mixed properly, transfer to a piping bag and begin to pipe onto the baking parchment using the template as a guide, Be patient, don’t rush it!
- Once the tray is completed continue on the next tray. Each completed tray should be set aside for at least 30 minutes to develop a skin on the surface of each shell before placing in the oven.
- Bake the Macarons at 150°C for 11½ minutes. As ovens vary it is best to adjust the baking based on your understanding of your oven.
Important Tip: You need to make sure that you avoid steam build-up in the oven, so it is important that you open the oven after 4 minutes and 8 minutes. This is to prevent the shells from cracking.
- Once baked allow the shells to cool down on the tray for about 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. At this stage you can freeze the shells and fill them as needed or you could fill them straight away and freeze. Either way it will keep well.
To make the lemon filing
- Cream the butter using a whisk.
- Add the lemon zest to the creamed butter and combine.
- Once the butter is creamed begin to add a fifth of the icing sugar and then combine.
- Add the lemon juice and combine, then add the milk doing the same.
- Add the remaining icing sugar, a fifth at a time until a thick consistency is reach.
Tip: You may not require all the icing sugar to reach that thick consistency.
- Once cooled transfer contents to a piping bag and fill the shells with the ganache.
- The macarons can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days