I recently made a zesty lemon meringue cakefor my sister’s birthday.  I borrowed from the flavours of that delicious cake for my next macaron experiment.

I adapted the basic macaron recipe that I have been using with a few tarty enhancements.  I added lemon juice in the meringue for a hint of flavouring, and some yellow food colouring to imitate the sunny shade of a lemon.

I also made some more fundamental changes to the macaron batter.  I omitted the sugar suggested to accompany the almond mixture – I found the sweetness of the last batch of macarons could be reduced.  Also, I experimented and included some egg white powder.  I have not used egg white powder before, and think it has certainly helped stabilise the mixture to produce a much improved shell.

For the filling, I used the same lemon curd recipe from the cake.  It has a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness that I thought would complement a fairly sweet macaron shell well.

Overall, I think a bit of a success.  Fingers crossed this continues…

lemon-macaron-2{ Lemon macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Yellow food colouring
2 tsp lemon juice
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  In the final minutes of whipping the meringue, add the lemon juice and food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with lemon curd and refrigerate to set.

lemon-curd{ Lemon Curd } adapted from Martha Stewart

* Ingredients *

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

* Directions *

Prepare an ice water bath; set aside. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest. Place over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking occasionally, until thick, about 15 minutes. Transfer bowl to ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Transfer to refrigerator until completely cold, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.