Macarons or French Macaroons are extremely delicious but can be notoriously tricky. I hope this recipe inspires you to give it a go based on my findings because they really are worth the final result. A lemonade inspired macaron using sherbert for a tangy zing, what’s not to love!?
First up get two large mixing bowls ready, add the ground almonds and the icing sugar into one bowl via a sieve. Keep going until it is all nice and fine, pressing the back of a spoon against the sieve if needed to help break some bits down. Tip the mix again through a sieve into the other bowl, you should have nice fine icing sugar and almond mix! You can also do this process using a food processor if you want, just blend until nice and fine!
Leave the bowl and sieve to one side you’ll need them both in a moment. Whisk 2 egg whites in a bowl until foamy, add in the crème of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form, gradually add the caster sugar in small batches whisking through until all incorporated and glossy. Whisk until you have nice stiff peaks. Add in a tsp of lemon extract and the yellow food colour (gel or a paste only) until you get the right shade, do not over whisk here, just blend the colour and extract in.
Sift the icing sugar / almond mix on top of the meringue mix and fold through carefully using a spatula, only fold briefly, ensure the mix is fully combined but do not over fold, it will be thick at first but after a few folds it will go runny – a runny mix is not wanted.
Transfer to a piping bag with a standard circle nozzle and line a large baking sheet.
Pipe even discs of the mix onto a lined baking sheet and space out about an inch or so, they won’t really expand in the oven but it’s just a pre-caution and gives them a little room. Now tap the baking tray against the work surface quite firmly a few times to get any air bubbles out of the macaron discs and let them stand to rest.
You rest the macarons to firm them up and create a hard edge on top. When you touch them and it is firm or the tops are not wet they are ready, it will take about 25 minutes. If your room is warm open some windows to help ventilate the room, a room too hot will slow this step down and it is critical.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 130c fan / 150c or equivalent on the upper shelves for 18-20 minutes. They are done once it can be lifted off the baking parchment and it does not stick and comes away clean, leave to cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile make the buttercream by beating together the room temperature butter adding in the icing sugar a little at a time, drop in the milk, lemon extract and the sherbert and beat through until well mixed. If it’s too wet and won’t pipe well add more icing sugar.
Pipe some of the buttercream onto a macaron half, top with a little drop of lemon curd if you wish and wedge with another macaron half. Keep in the fridge ideally overnight for the flavours to merge, but it’s fine if you want to have them straight away! Enjoy.