Macarons – Lemon

Delicious macaron shells filled with a tart lemon curd. Try not to eat all of them at once!


For the macaron shells:

  • 130gr sieved almond flour
  • 130gr sieved powdered sugar
  • 50gr egg white
  • 145gr sugar
  • 50gr water
  • 50gr egg white
  • yellow food colour, thick paste or powder

For the lemon curd filling:

  • 150gr sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 30gr cornstarch
  • 200ml cold water
  • 25gr butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 62ml lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs lemon zest

Makes around 80 regular macaron shells, for 40 cookies


Make the macaron shells:
Combine the sieved almond flour and sieved powdered sugar.
Add the egg whites to the middle of the bowl and combine it with around a third of the almond-sugar mixture. Set aside.

Place the regular sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat the sugar to 120°C without stirring.
Place the remaining egg whites in a fat free bowl, in a freestanding mixer should you have one, but a regular mixer works fine for these quantities too.
Once the sugar is at 108°C, start beating the egg whites. When the sugar is at 120°C, add it to the beating whites in a slow, steady stream, being careful not to pour it over the beaters as that would cause this very hot sugar to fly everywhere.
Beat the whites until the temperature has become lukewarm. Do not overbeat them until fully cold, if you can hold the bowl and it feels warm but not hot, it is fine.
Add the yellow food colouring now, so it is mixed through well. Use either thick pastes or powders, thin food colouring waters the mixture down too much.

Fold the warm egg whites into the almond-sugar mixture. Make sure it is well combined. If the mixture is a bit thick, beat it to thin it down, but be careful to not make it too thin. You want a drip of batter to flow out into the rest of the batter in 10 seconds. But err on the side of caution.

Spoon everything in a piping bag fitted with a 7-10mm round nozzle. Twist the top end and wrap it around your fingers.
Holding the bag upright, pipe by putting pressure at the end of the bag, which will allow for a steady flow of batter. Do not move the bag while piping, but instead pipe in one spot and have the batter push itself outwards. When you have a cookie piped, stop the pressure before lifting the bag. Swirl the bag around to have the nozzle cut off the tip of the batter coming out. This prevents that horrid tip on top of macarons.
Create equal sized rounds, spaced a bit apart. When you have a plate done and have the baking paper on the baking tray, tap the tray to have any air bubbles come up. Prick them with a toothpick. Tapping the tray will create smooth macarons. For a thick batter you will need to tap more than for a thin batter. Do not over-tap a thin batter or you may end with very thin shells.

Bake for 16 minutes on 130°C fan. Turn the trays once in the middle of baking (flipping front to back and vice versa), to avoid any sides turning brown.
Temperature and time may differ for your oven.
Leave the macaron shells to cool.

Make the filling:
Combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch and water in a thick based saucepan. Bring it to the boil and have it cook at a rolling boil (be careful for splutters) for two full minutes. The mixture will be translucent and thick.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter.

Place the yolks in a large bowl and stir them to break them apart. Add around half a cup of the hot cornstarch mixture to the bowl and stir well. This heats up the yolks more gently than adding the yolks to the pan, where they would become scrambled eggs.
Stir the hot yolk mix into the pan. Heat the curd again and have it boil for 5 minutes. This avoids the curd separating or thinning after cooling.

Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and the vanilla. If the curd has lumps, strain it first, then stir in the lemon zest. Leave to cool to lukewarm.

Arrange the macaron shells in pairs of two with approximately the same size. Flip half of them upside down.
Fill a piping bag with the lemon curd. Snip a small hole in the tip and pipe filling on the upside down shells, approximately a teaspoon per shell.
Cover each half with filling with its matching top.

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