Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Passion Fruit Macarons & Blackberry Macarons
I bought two items this past week that I'm so in love with...
1. A Silpat
2. Passion Fruit Puree
I go nuts for passion fruit desserts- passion fruit just gives such a nice tangy, tropical tone to creamy deserts.
As for the siplats, I love not having to cut parchment paper to fit my baking sheets (yay!) Plus I feel kind of French and legit using one.
I generally really enjoy making macarons filled with ganache or buttercream, but this time around, I thought it would be nice to make some with fruit based fillings. The blackberry french macarons are filled with a really easy to make homemade blackberry jam and the passion fruit french macarons are filled with a passion fruit curd.
For the Macaron Shells (makes about 35 cookie shells)
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
a few drops of food coloring
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Sift almond flour and confectioner's sugar 2 times. Set aside. Whisk egg whites on low-medium until foamy. Add a SMALL pinch of cream of tartar. Whisk on medium-high until whites are whipped and have soft peaks. Slowly add in 1/4 cup sugar and food coloring, continuously whisking until whites form stiff peaks. TIP: Whites should form a peak on the whisk attachment, but should not be whisked to the point that they are too stiff to fall off the whisk when tapped on the mixing bowl. Sift dry ingredients over egg whites in three parts- do not stir, but fold gently with a rubber spatula into egg whites. Continue folding batter until it "ribbons" off rubber spatula.
Scoop batter into a 14-16 inch pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe circles onto parchment paper lined baking sheets (or use silpat).
After piping, hit baking sheet on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles. Allow cookies to sit for 15-30 minutes before baking so that they form a protective "skin." This step also helps to avoid cracking.
As I often put out as a disclaimer, my oven is old and gets really, really hot. I baked these macarons at 275 degrees and had a few crack. Generally, I start baking at around 250, or even a little lower. After they appear to be set and a foot begins forming, I increase the oven temperature to around 275 degrees. Bake about 15-20 minutes (depending on how hot your oven is), until you can lightly touch the cookie and it doesn't slide (the foot is stiff and baked through).
Allow shells to fully cool before filling. For best taste, allow macarons to meld with filling at least overnight and preferably 1-2 days.
For the Passion Fruit Curd (recipe from Martha Stewart)
Makes 2 cups
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened passion-fruit puree
6 large egg yolks
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Combine sugar, passion-fruit puree, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, piece by piece, until melted. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed (will keep in fridge up to 3 days).
For the Blackberry Jam:
-8 oz fresh blackberries
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp grand marnier (optional)
-1 tsp orange zest
-1 tsp orange fresh orange juice
-splash of lemon or lime juice
Puree blackberries in blender and strain mixture with sieve. Combine blackberry puree with all other ingredients in small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam off of the top that surfaces. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Mixture will thicken as it cools.