Words cannot describe the deliciousness of these macarons, they couldn't taste any more like Lemon Meringue Pie if they tried and all the components come together beautifully. The meringue shells are gorgeously lemon flavoured and the vanilla meringue frosting is to die for, especially when combined with the sharpness of the lemon curd.
I came across a feature in this months GoodFood magazine on Ed Kimber's (aka The Boy Who Bakes) macarons. He had made Chocolate and Raspberry and Blueberries and Cream Macarons, both sounded divine but I fancied something a little different.
I adapted the basic macaron shell recipe slightly but not too much. I obviously added fresh lemon zest to the shells and I prefer to add my colouring at a different point. I used my own meringue frosting recipe for the filling and a glorious locally made lemon curd. I have increased the quantity of egg ever so slightly, because as I mixed the unbeaten egg into the almond mixture it was way too dry and wouldn't come to a paste. I added a few extra tsp of egg white and all was well.
Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons
170g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
zest of 3 lemons
4 large egg whites, separated into two equal batches -
(original recipe used 120ml egg whites from around 4 medium eggs)
1/2 tsp yellow food colouring
160g caster sugar
For the filling:
1 egg white
100g caster sugar
40ml cold water
1/2 tsp golden syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
lemon curd, good quality
Tip the second batch of egg whites into a heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the caster sugar into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start beating the egg whites on a high speed. Once the syrup has reached 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture - the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm.
Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter - it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula. The ribbon should fade back into the batter within about 30 seconds - if it does not, fold a few more times.
Heat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/ gas 3-4. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, (I like to do two sheets of big macarons and one sheet of mini macarons, if you would like to top your macarons with sanding sugar, do so now), leave to rest for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter, or until the macarons have developed a skin.
Bake the macarons for 14 minutes (around 10 minutes for mini macarons). Once out of the oven immediately slide the parchment onto a work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling off the paper.
To make the filling:
Combine the egg white, sugar, water, golden syrup and salt in the top of a double boiler and place over rapidly boiling water. Beat on the high speed of an electric mixer for around 7 minutes or until the icing reaches soft peak stage. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Beat for a further minute or until the frosting reaches desired consistency.
Pair up your macarons and spread a little lemon curd onto the flat side of one, pipe or spoon meringue frosting on top of the curd and top with the remaining macaron. Repeat until all of your macarons are used up.
Happy macaron making!