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Bye Bye May: Lemon Macarons

Why would the end of May prompt me to make macarons? Well, they are delicate little cookies and for me May is a "delicate" month. On the first of May, I get a card from my parents with dried, fragile Lily of the Valley tucked inside. Then there is my birthday, for which I receive some precious orchid (background in the picture above) or other exotic flower….delicate.
Then there is a few more girlfriends' birthdays and of course mother’s day…the month ends up being very feminine, very pink and a major reason to make macarons!

I have been experimenting with a couple of recipes, one is promising but I want to tweak it a little bit more before posting, the results are almost as good as my cherished recipe originally found on Mercotte's blog.
I made a batch of these in an attempt to teach my friend C. and when she divided the loot in half I told her to keep them all and that I did not like macarons that much. Her jaws dropped, her eyes rolled in their socket and she almost checked my temperature. Yes, I am weird: I will gladly put me through the joyous torture of Italian meringue and macaron making but I don’t like eating them. I love the whole process, from deciding on the flavors, colors, folding, piping, filling but I am not a big fan. I find the process more rewarding than the results but friends and family think otherwise.

What could be more fitting the celebrate the end of May than a lemon flavored macaron filled with freshly whisked lemon curd? June will bring bolder flavors and colors but for now let’s stick to a tried and true recipe for the shells, as well as this lemon curd that I use now all the time.

Lemon Macarons:

For the shells:

120 gr. egg whites, divided
35 gr. sugar
150 gr. finely ground almonds
150 gr. powdered sugar
2 tsp. pure lemon extract

For the boiling syrup:
150 gr. sugar and 50 gr. water

Sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar.
In a stand mixer, whip 60 gr. egg whites to soft peaks, add 35 gr. sugar.In the meantime, in a saucepan on high heat bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 230 F. on a candy thermometer.
Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium – high speed until they are completely cooled and you have a shiny meringue (10-15 minutes).
Mix the remaining 60 gr. of egg whites, the lemon extract and the sifted almond/sugar and carefully fold into the meringue.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the mixture and pipe macarons about 3 inches in diameter on parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes if desired. This is often done to assure those little feet at the bottom but I found that I can skip this step with this recipe and still end up with the same result.
Bake at 320 for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Lemon Curd:

grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup strained lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 eggs
Combine the zest, sugar, juice in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs until light.
Beat some of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes.
Strain and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Fill the macarons with about 1 Tb of the curd and refrigerate.

Bye bye May…Looking forward to June!

Note: Check out the WTSIM May edition on Jeanne’s blog…Yum!

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Nora B. June 1, 2007 um 12:58 am

Helene, your macarons look so elegant. I have not had much luck making macarons. I should give it another go, you have inspired me!

Mindy June 1, 2007 um 2:25 am

Lovely macarons. I wish I had the guts to attempt making them myself, but I’ll just appreciate yours instead.

Anonymous June 1, 2007 um 2:28 am

I’ve never thought of macarons as being "delicate", "fragile" or "feminine" in the way you described them, but I think you’re absolutely right. Yours look to be all those things and delicious too.

jef June 1, 2007 um 3:51 am

I used this recipe over the weekend and I have to say it’s the most foolproof one yet. The macarons aren’t quite as light as the recipe I was using, but I also didn’t have to throw away sheet pans of cracked cookies, either.

I’ll be posting about my endeavor in a day or two…

Mercotte June 1, 2007 um 5:20 am

C’est amusant car je suis justement en train d’en faire et ma garniture sera citron vert gingembre et basilic en fait je mixe une recette de Felder citron basilic et une goûtée chez Ladurée citron vert gingembre ! je suis aussi un peu comme toi finalement j’en fais bp pour apprendre à mes hôtes, mais j’en mange très peu ! En tout cas bravo pour ce billet tout en douceur …

Anonymous June 1, 2007 um 5:47 am

ils sont superbes ! au citron, définitivement mespréférés !

Meeta K. Wolff June 1, 2007 um 6:05 am

Helene! These are gorgeous – I still have to master them. Maybe one day as a DB challenge. LOL! But I agree May is a delicate month and your macarons fit beautifully.

veronica June 1, 2007 um 6:19 am

j’imagine toutes ces saveurs qui se melent en bouche…avec le fondant-craquant du macaron…

Anonymous June 1, 2007 um 7:21 am

c’est le retour des macarons!!..depuis quelques jours,on s’y remet toutes et tous! bravo!!

Cheryl June 1, 2007 um 12:47 pm

I love the way the shape of your macaroons come out. They are just perfect.

Lis June 1, 2007 um 2:42 pm

Hey! Wait a minute.. you had just stuffed 3 of them in your mouth the other day while I was at work with no macarons to stuff in my mouth. 😛

They look wonderful and this is the first time I’ve seen lemon macarons (I know I’ve led a sheltered life) – they look perfect!!


Deborah June 1, 2007 um 5:05 pm

I have yet to try making macarons, mainly because I have never eaten one and don’t know what they are supposed to end up like!! Yours are beautiful, though!

Anonymous June 1, 2007 um 6:38 pm

perfect looking macarons!Love the orchid in the background. I love May too. Perfect weather and a bunch of birthdays including the hubby.

Kelly-Jane June 1, 2007 um 7:29 pm

They are gorgeous! I love macarons.

Anonymous June 1, 2007 um 8:25 pm

Helene, I just can’t get enough of these wonderful lemon-y posts! Your macarons are amazing, delicate, beautiful… and lemon curd is such a obvious, but totally luscious filling!

Unknown June 1, 2007 um 10:18 pm

That’s funny – I enjoy making macarons because it’s such a thrill when they come out beautifully, but I’m not "addicted" to them like the French are! Yours are so gorgeous and sunshiny – got me tempted to pull out the piping bag!

Mercedes June 1, 2007 um 10:39 pm

I can’t believe you don’t love macarons! Oh how I adore them. Then again, maybe they have a delicate foreign air to them, for those of us who didn’t grow up with them.

Warda June 2, 2007 um 3:30 am

J’aurai aime que mon mari soit fan du citron mais helas!
Tes macarons ont l’air sublime et tellement frais.

bossacafez June 2, 2007 um 6:20 pm

lovely macarons helen!

Anonymous June 3, 2007 um 3:45 am

Your macarons are lovely!Yesterday, I attempted to make macarons but it failed – bad. The shape was weirdly uneven 🙁 Would you mind giving me some tips on how to make a macaron shaped so perfectly like yours? I’ll be eternally grateful. 😀

Helene June 3, 2007 um 3:48 am

Anonymous: email me at marinette1ATcomcastDOTnet

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 3:17 am

Your macaroons are beautiful!
I love your description of May as being a delicate month…so true.
Happy belated birthday!

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 5:42 am

One day I will attempt to make maracons, and I know who I will turn to for guidance. 😉

Jeanne June 5, 2007 um 11:02 am

Oh, are those the world’s most perfect macaroons or what?! Just gorgeous Helen, and I love the photo too. I have yet to work up the courage to make my own macaroons – until then I’ll vicariously enjoy yours and nip over to Paris for Pierre Herme’s 😉

Anonymous June 8, 2008 um 6:46 pm

I made a batch of these yesterday, and they turned out really well! Thanks so much for posting your recipe. (I did use a different lemon curd recipe since I had a bunch of egg yolks to use up, and a curd recipe that required them.)

Next up for me? Probably a chocolate version.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Magda June 2, 2011 um 4:20 am

I've tried to make macarons a few times but they've never turned out quite the way they're supposed to… I'm going to keep trying your plain macaron recipe until I get them right. 🙂 With the exception of these….But I'm confused by the directions in the recipe. It says that you're to whip the 60g of egg whites….then mix the remaining egg whites with the lemon extract and almond/sugar. Should the second set of egg whites also be whipped to peaks before you add them? Or not at all? Any clarification you could provide would be useful.
Also – do you have an FAQ (or something similar) with commonly made macaron mistakes? Thanks in advance 🙂

Helene June 2, 2011 um 6:39 am

Magda: nope, add them just as they are.
For a FAQ, check the link to the macaron tutorial I wrote, located in the side bar on the right.
Good luck!

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