Lemon Curd Macarons
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 42 macarons
These elegant cookies have pink peppercorns that are not only pretty, but great counterpoints to the sweet cookies and tangy lemon filling.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup blanched almonds (5 1/2 ounces)
- 3/4 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Baby rose petals, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- MAKE THE LEMON CURD In the top of a double boiler filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the egg yolks, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and zest. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the curd registers 180°, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the curd into a heatproof bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled.
- MEANWHILE, MAKE THE MACARONS In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, almonds and pink peppercorns and process until powdery. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and break up any lumps.
- In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat 2 of the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting while the sugar syrup cooks. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and cook until the syrup reaches 238° on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Increase the speed to moderately high and carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the beaten whites in a thin stream. Beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the remaining egg white over the almond mixture and scrape the meringue on top. Using a rubber spatula, fold everything together until completely combined. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip.
- Pipe 1-inch mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Give each baking sheet a firm tap on the table to release any air bubbles. Rotate the pans and tap again. Using slightly moistened fingertips, press the meringues so they are about 1/4 inch high. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the tops to dry.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, until the meringues are lightly browned. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then carefully lift off the macarons.
- Scrape the lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe the lemon curd onto the flat side of half of the macarons and top them with the remaining cookies. Pipe a tiny dot of lemon curd on top of each one and garnish with a tiny rose petal.
The lemon curd can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.