Zesty Lemon Macarons – photo tutorial

Zesty Lemon Macarons are melt-in-your-mouth delicious with lemon in every bite.  There is lemon in the cookie, which are filled with a lemon ganache and a lemon curd.  They have a  tender, crisp exterior with a soft, chewy interior.   And, they’re easy to make.

Let’s BAKE!

INGREDIENTS:

LEMON CURD FILLING
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons nonfat lemon yogurt

MACARON
150 grams powdered sugar
124 grams almond flour
100 grams egg whites, room temp (about 3)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
65 grams castor sugar (ultra fine). about 1/4 cup
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3-4 drops yellow food coloring gel

LEMON GANACHE FILLING
180 grams white chocolate chips
60 grams heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

 

DIRECTIONS:

LEMON CURD:

Heat 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice in a small non-reactive saucepan on medium heat to hot, but do not boil. Whisk 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp. lemon zest in a medium bowl. Slowly pour hot lemon juice into egg-sugar mixture whisking constantly.

Return egg-lemon mixture to saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to cling to spoon, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in butter and lemon yogurt until smooth. Pour curd through fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly on curd; refrigerate until cooled and ready to pipe onto Macarons.

MACARON:

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and almond flour until blended. Sift almond flour mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl. If there is only a pinch of large chunks remaining, toss them out.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy; add cream of tartar, Whip until egg whites start leaving a trail; add castor sugar 1/3 at a time. Whip until stiff peaks form (when you pull out the whisk the peak should be stiff and not droopy, and you can hold the bowl upside down and nothing comes out.). Add 2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, and yellow food coloring during the last minute of whipping.

Add the flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, into the egg whites and gently fold in until fully incorporated (do not over mix, it should be like thick lava, and you can make a figure eight).

Prepare a template of 1-1/2″ circles about 2-inches apart (about 20 to a baking sheet 5 across by 4 down). Put the template under parchment on baking sheet. Fit a 16″ pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip (#1A tip) and fill the bag with the batter. Using the template as a guide, pipe circles onto the parchment papers. The peaks in the center should fall, if they don’t wet your finger and pat the peak down. Tap the bottom of each sheet on the work surface, 4-5 times, to release trapped air bubbles. Let the cookies stand at room temperature for 30-60 minutes,to allow the cookies to develop their crusts. While the cookies are standing at room temperature, preheat oven to 320 degrees F.

Once the cookies are dry to the touch, bake, one cookie sheet at a time, at 320 degrees F. for 13-15 minutes, until the top is not wiggly (error on the side of overcooked). Cool slightly, remove from parchment (they should release, if not, use an offset spatula) Let cool completely.

LEMON GANACHE FILLING:

While cookies are cooking, place white chocolate chips in a medium bowl. On the stove, warm up cream until edges simmer; add to white chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp. lemon zest and 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice to white chocolate-cream mixture, blend until creamy. Let sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to cool and firm. While lemon ganache is cooling, match up same size cookies with one top side up and the other filling side up. In a medium mixing bowl, whip lemon ganache until creamy, about 1 minute. Fill a 12″ piping bag with lemon ganache.

ASSEMBLING MACARONS:

Pipe the lemon ganache in a circle on each filling side up cookie. Fill a piping bag with the lemon curd, pipe a dollop in the middle of the lemon ganache. Press 2 cookies together until filling comes to the edge. Place in an airtight container, place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours (so the shells absorb the flavor of the filling). Take the cookies out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving, to bring back to room temp.

Enjoy!

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