Lavender Macarons with Ruby Red Grapefruit Prosecco Curd
Recipe From What's For Lunch, Honey?
For the macaron shells
110g icing sugar
60g almonds, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g granulated sugar
Pinch of organic lavender buds
Purple food coloring
For the filling
200 ml grapefruit juice – I used Ruby Red grapefruits
Zest of 1 grapefruit, grated
100g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
200g fine granulated sugar
For the macaron shells
- 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. Or use this macaron template.
- 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. 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.
- In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, almonds and lavender buds until everything is finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.
- Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Add some of the purple food coloring till you get the shade of purple you like best. Continue folding 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.
- 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 15 to 30 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. 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
For the filling
- Put the grapefruit zest and juice, prosecco, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the basin doesn't touch the water. Stir with a whisk occasionally until the butter has melted.
- Mix the eggs and egg yolk lightly with a fork, then stir into the grapefruit-prosecco mixture.
- Allow the curd to cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, until the consistency is thick and custard-like. It should feel heavy on the whisk.
- Remove from the heat and stir occasionally as it cools. Pour into warm sterile jars, cover and seal. Allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator
Notes: You will find that many fruit curd recipes ask you to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. However, stirring lightly with a whisk introduces just a little more lightness into the curd, which makes it slightly less solid and more wobbly. For a macaron filling this is the perfect consistency.
Assembling the macarons
Using two spoons place a small dollop of the the grapefruit prosecco curd filling on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.
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.
Notes: As the curd filling is fairly moist my advice would be to fill these about 30 minutes before you serve or want to indulge into them. Otherwise you will find that the shells will get too soggy.
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