So yesterday, as I was coming down with a terrible cold, I set out to make quite possibly the MOST difficult thing you could make. A french macaron. Our friends had invited us to dinner, and I wanted to make something with limoncello and blueberries. So I started googling ways to make a macaron, and there are zillions of recipes ranging from rose flavored to earl grey tea but NOTHING for limoncello and blueberry. I should have known this was going to be trouble just from that clue alone. SO I went a little rogue and found a recipe and tweaked it. I have learned a lot, and I promise you that they did not come out perfect, but it was a valiant effort and a good start I think. So here it goes:
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites (room temperature)
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Zest from 2 lemons
- Blue food coloring
- 1 small container of blueberries
- 2 tablespoons limoncello
- 1 stick of butter (softened)
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- Combine powdered sugar and almond meal then sift twice. You need a very fluffy powdery mixture. There will be little seed looking things on the bottom of the sifter, discard them.
- In a stand mixer or separate bowl whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until they are frothy (about 1.5 minutes)
- As you are whipping the eggs, mix the cream of tartar and granulated sugar together. Add the mixture one tablespoon at a time and whip until there are stiff peaks in the meringue. About 2 minutes
- Add the lemon zest and 3 drops blue food coloring to the meringue mixture and whip a few times until it is mixed.
- Gently fold half of the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture into the meringue with a spatula. When it is blended, add the second half and fold until it is a smooth and creamy mixture.
- Put the batter into a piping bag (if you don’t have one, just put it in a ziplock bag and cut a little hole in the bottom corner) and pipe one inch rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet (do not use a greased baking sheet there MUST be parchment paper)
- Preheat the oven to 280 degrees. Rap the pan a few times on the counter to release air bubbles and to even out the topes and then let the raw cookies sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, this will make them tacky and more firm.
- Put them in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the top is hard. Do not let them brown too much.
- Whip the stick of butter until smooth and then slowly add the sugar.
- Combine limoncello and blueberries in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth
- Add the blueberry mixture to the buttercream mixture. Mix until well blended
Use the filling as glue to stick the two cookies together. Then Voila!
I am telling you that this is really not easy to do. My fist AND second batches were FAR from perfect. However, I found an awesome YouTube video with great tips. Because of the temperamental nature of macarons, you should watch this video before you start baking.
Entertaining with Beth: Fool-proof French Macarons