Lebkuchen Spice Macarons with Quince Jam and Candied Ginger

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?  

Ingredients

For the Lebkuchen macaron shells

90g egg white (approx. 4 eggs), aged for a little over 24 hours on the countertop or 5 days in the refrigerator
30g fine granulated sugar
200g icing sugar
110g almonds
1/4 tablespoon Lebkuchen spice* (see note below) – or you can adjust this amount to your own taste
few drops of red and green food coloring, mixed to give a slightly brown/gingerbread color

For the filling

a portion of Caramelized Quince Jam with a Sprinkling of Cinnamon

a small handful candied ginger – sliced

 

Method

For the Lebkuchen macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around.

  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. Incorporate the Lebkuchen spice blend into the batter. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.

  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar and almonds until the nuts are finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture to make sure there are no lumps.

  4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue and give it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold a few times to break the air. Continue until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds. 

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 30 - 45 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 140 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 10–15 minutes depending on their size. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack.

* Note: If you cannot find premixed "Lebkuchen Gewürz" from a German store, you may mix your own. Here are the spices that make up "Lebkuchen Gewürz"

2 T. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground anise seed

 

Sticky Note 1 notes

Storing Macarons
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.

Assembling the macarons

Using two spoons place small dollops of the caramelized quince jam on one of the shells then place a slice of candied ginger in the middle and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.