These lemon macarons filled with lemon curd and Swiss meringue buttercream are especially refreshing and light. This is of course using my foolproof macaron recipe as a base. Follow these tips below and people are going to think you are a macaron master baker!!
Dry ingredients - Place almond meal and powdered sugar in a food processor. Sift it through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any remains that do not go thru. However, if you have a lot in the sifter - pulse some more and strain again. Pro tip - pulsing and staining will ensure you have a flour consistency. So do not skip this step.
1 cup Almond meal, 7 oz Powdered sugar
Whip egg whites - Place the egg whites with cream of tartar in a grease-free bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Start whisking on medium speed. Pro tip - the cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites. You can omit but it is especially helpful when making macarons in warm weather or humid places.
3 oz Egg white, ⅛ teaspoon Cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon Salt
Sugar - After a minute start adding the granulated sugar one spoon at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whip on medium-high until stiff peaks. Pro tip - adding the sugar one spoon at a time will prevent the protein in the egg whites from breaking down.
¼ cup Sugar
Color - Add flavor extract and yellow gel food coloring. Combine well. Pro tip - it is important to use gel-based food coloring as water-based colors will thin the macaron batter causing the shells to spread thinly.
½ teaspoon Lemon zest, ½ teaspoon Lemon extract
Fold in - Next, fold the almond mixture into the whipped egg whites in three batches. Pro tip - use a spatula and fold the mixture until you have no dry almond flour left behind.
1 cup Almond meal, 7 oz Powdered sugar
Macronage - Continue to fold the mixture until you have a dropping consistency or the mixture falls in a figure 8 ribbon. My method - Spread the mixture around in the bowl with a spatula then bring it back to the center. Do it again and again until you have the right consistency.
Pipe - Transfer batter into a piping bag with a round tip (No.12). Pipe similar size macarons onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and a macaron template.Pro tip- templates ensure all shells are similar in size. This is helpful when we make the finished macarons. You can print free templates found on google or make your own with a cookie cutter.
Air pockets - Tap the baking tray on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles or air pockets.Pro tip - Tapping helps the air pockets rise to the top and release. That way you won't have big holes in your shells. I do three taps on each side as shown in the video.
Dry - Leave the baking sheets with macaron shells on the counter in a cool dry place for about 30 to 40 minutes until it forms a skin on the top. If you touch the shell it should not stick to your finger. Pro tip - In places, with high humidity, this can take up to 60 minutes. As long as it does not stick to your finger when you touch it - you are good to go.
Oven - Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas Mark 2 Pro tip - I usually start my oven at about 20 minutes because that's how long it takes in my home.
Bake the macarons for 12 to 15 minutes depending on your oven. Pro tip - some ovens can take up to 18 minutes. The tops will look set but the bottom should not be wet. The top shell should be shiny and the bottom crusty also called macaron feet.
Cool on the baking tray for at least 10 minutes before you remove and transfer them to a cooling rack. Pro tip - trying to remove the macarons from the hot tray can cause the tops to separate from the bottom feet. Once you let them cool they will come off easily. So, be patient.
Place all lemon curd ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-low heat. The mixture will first become liquid then start to thicken. Let cook until it coats the back of a spoon. Strain thru a sieve or mesh and let cool completely before using.
⅓ cup Lemon juice, ⅓ cup Sugar, 2 large Eggs, ¼ cup Butter, 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
Temper eggs - In the bowl of a stand mixer add the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk the egg whites over the simmering water until all the sugar has melted. Pro tip - stick a clean finger into the egg whites if it's not grainy it's ready
½ cup Sugar, 3 large Egg whites
Whip - Place the mixer bowl on the stand and start to whip at medium to low speed with a whisk attachment increasing the speed gradually. Whisk to firm peaks, shiny meringue. Continue to whip on low until the bowl feels cool to touch.
⅛ teaspoon Cream of tartar
Butter - Once the bowl feels cool to the touch, start adding the butter one cube at a time. Then, add the vanilla extract and whip on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until you have a light and fluffy buttercream. Pro tip - Touch the mixer bowl. If it’s still warm wait, run the mixer on low until it cools.
½ lb Butter, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Fill / Store
Pair - Pair similar size macarons shells so you have similar size macarons. Add the filling in one piping bag and the buttercream in another bag. You can use a round piping tip but it's not necessary.
Fill - Pipe a ring of buttercream on one macaron shell, then pipe the filling in the center of that buttercream ring. Place the second shell on top. Continue until you have filled all macarons.
Storage - Macarons must be stored in the refrigerator and are best eaten one or two days later. (if you can wait) Pro tip - these can be frozen in the freezer for months.
Egg white - make sure the egg whites have no yolks in them otherwise they will not whip into a meringue. Start whipping at medium-low speed and add the sugar gradually this ensures stiff shiny peaks.
Almond flour - must be ground finely. Even if you buy premade almond meal it is best to run it through the food processor one more time with the powdered sugar. This must be sifted to remove large bits otherwise the macaron batter will be lumpy
Macronage - you need, what is called a dropping consistency or a thick 'lava-like' or 'cake batter' consistency. This means when you hold a little batter on the spatula and it should drop down like a ribbon that blends back into itself. Getting the right consistency sometimes takes time. So, watch that part of the video carefully.
Piping tips - this is a very soft batter so don't use a very large round tip. Find a smaller tip that helps you stay in control.
Piping technique - The best way to pipe the macarons, hold the piping bag at 90%. Squeeze until you have a good mound then swirl the tip to one side. But don't worry if you have a point. When you tap the pan these usually settle down.
Oven - do not open the oven door for the first 10 minutes of baking. When you shake the pan they must look set. Remember they continue to bake with the residue heat on the baking tray.
My macarons have no feet - usually, the most common reason is that the batter is too thin due to overmixing. Getting the right consistency is important and can take a few attempts for some people
My macarons are cracked on top - Most often the reason for this is that the batter was undermixed. Pockets of dry flour or unmixed lumps can cause cracks during baking. You must first fold the batter and ensure everything is well mixed before you start the macronage stage.
Macarons have large holes - which usually happens when there are air pockets in the batter. Most often tapping the baking sheets will help pop them but often you may need to take a toothpick and pop them yourself.
Ripples on the macarons - usually happen when the piped batter is not tapped enough to help the batter settle before crusting.
Faded macarons - often baked in a very hot oven are the culprit of faded macarons. Reduce heat considerably. You can also place another baking pan on the top shelf to prevent direct heat.
No feet in macarons - Thin batter consistency. You must whip the meringue until stiff peaks form, then add the dry ingredients and bring it back to the macronage consistency.
Burst macaron feet - also a sign that the oven is too hot or the heat is not evenly distributed. You can place another baking tray on the top shelf or bake on two (double) baking sheets to prevent direct heat to the macarons.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you