Lemon Macarons filled with Citrus Curd
These happy lil lemon macarons are bound to bring a smile to anyone’s face! Filled with deliciously tangy and sweet orange and lemon curd, they make the perfect sweet treat or afternoon pick me up (highly recommend washing these down with a big old cup of tea!) Please enjoy!
Notes for before you start: unlike my last macaron recipe in which I used the French method, I use the Swiss meringue method in this one. It involves first dissolving the caster sugar in the egg whites over a double boiler or bain-marie. I find this overall makes the macaron batter a lot more stable, but I’m interested to hear your thoughts too! Also, I highly recommend using an electronic kitchen scale for precision in this recipe!
To make the macarons using the Swiss Meringue Method:
1 cup (100 grams) almond meal/ ground almonds/ almond flour, sifted
3/4 cup (75 grams) icing sugar, sifted
3 (96 grams) large egg whites
1/2 cup (116 grams) caster sugar (granulated)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and zest
4–5 drops yellow food colouring
Using a bain-marie or double boiler, heat the caster sugar and egg whites over simmering water, constantly whisking until the sugar has fully dissolved and the mixture is frothy in appearance (about 5 minutes). Test by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers to make sure all sugar has dissolved.
Transfer the egg white mixture to a mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set the speed to high. Mix on high speed right until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes). Add the lemon juice, zest and food colouring then mix for another minute. At this point the meringue should be thick and glossy, and you should be able to hold the bowl over your head without risk of the meringue falling out.
Blend almond meal and icing sugar until very fine consistency in an electric blender or food processor (I used a nutrininja).
Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Discard any lumps. Give the mixture a quick whisk.
Gently fold the icing sugar and almond mixture into the meringue. Do this in thirds as to not lose to much air from the meringue mixture.
Check to see that the batter has been mixed enough by making a figure eight with the batter as it falls from the spatula. If you can make a full figure eight without it breaking, the batter has been mixed enough.
Set up a piping bag a 1/3-inch (1 cm) nozzle resting inside a cup (nozzle pointing down inside the cup, and any overhang folding over the outside of the cups rim), if you don’t have a piping bag use a ziplock bag and cut a 1 cm hole on the end.
Fill piping bag with macaron batter and squirt tiny dots of the batter directly onto the baking tray on each corner. Then press the baking paper down on top of this. (This ensures the baking paper does not move around while you are piping the macaron batter).
Pipe evenly sized circles of the batter onto the baking trays -make sure you are holding the bag vertically and close to the baking tray. You want around 5 cm circles, separated from each other by another 3 cm, keep in mind the batter will spread out slightly.
Gently tap the bottom of the baking trays against your counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Then with wet fingertips, smooth out any bumps on the top of the macarons.
Let the piped macaron batter sit for at least 45 minutes so that the top forms a crust - this is important otherwise the macarons will not form a smooth dry shell.
Preheat the oven to 140 C fan forced / 160 C (300 F).
Bake the macarons in the preheated oven for 16 minutes, I usually check on them at around 10 minutes to release any steam build up and see if they are beginning to rise!
Take the macarons out of the oven, you will know they are cooked when you can see they have risen, and have smooth, hard tops. Set aside to cool.
To make the citrus curd:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
⅓ cup caster (granulated) sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
⅔ cup fresh orange and/or lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cornflour
1 tablespoon finely grated blood orange or lemon zest
In a medium non-reactive saucepan, cream the butter and sugar until light in colour.
Beat in the eggs and then pour in the fresh citrus juice.
Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has thickened and becomes jelly-like, about 5 minutes. Stir in teaspoon of cornflour and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the citrus zest.
Pour the curd into a container or bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size.
Pipe a small circle of citrus curd on one half, and then sandwich it with the second macaron shell. Enjoy!