In Preparation for France, Grapefruit Macarons!Posted: May 25, 2011
So, I have to admit, yesterday was my birthday. The big 22. I didn’t do anything crazy, but it was definitely a crazy day: American Folk Art Museum Quilts exhibit by day, Robertas by dinner, picking-up craigslist furniture by sundown, and a surprise ice cream cake with my friends on our new balcony by night! And, as if that wasn’t enough, they surprised me with a copy of Tina Fey’s Bossypants and, wait for it, a beautiful Cuisinart ice cream maker! The day was more than I could have dreamed of in the best of all birthday dreams.
And now for something completely different…macarons! For our last Slow Food NYU event of the semester, we hosted a potluck in Washington Square Park for all of the food and agriculture clubs on campus to get together and just hang. For my contribution, I decided to tackle macarons. (Why? I have no idea. I was feeling ambitious.) Now, I know that they don’t look like the puffy, delicate macarons that you’re probably used to, and I have to admit my disappointment when I was piping the dough and they spread out like frisbees, but they were absolutely delicious nonetheless. The texture was the perfect blend of chewy and flakey. My pastry and baking friends confirmed their tried-and-true macaron taste, so aesthetics aside, these little guys were definitely worth the trouble. TIP: make sure your kitchen and the meringue are nice and cool. Meg and I were baking at the same time and I don’t think my old, tiny kitchen handled the heat well, so that could explain why the macarons look more like tea-cup saucers.
I made two variations of the basic macaron recipe from the Gourmet Today cookbook. For the filling, I used the grapefruit curd recipe from the blog Desserts for Breakfast. And since I was all out of red food coloring (thank you red velvet cupcakes), I decided on pale yellow and baby blue macarons for Spring.
Yields about 32 macarons (I made two batches)
3/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
2 tsp grapefruit zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 tbsp cold water
3 tbsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup boiling water
freshly grated zest of one medium-sized grapefruit
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Mix the almond flour and confectioners sugar in a medium bowl.
3. Beat egg whites with salt in a large bowl until you’ve reached soft peaks. Reduce speed to medium and add granulated sugar a little at a time, then continue to beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.
4. Fold in the almond/sugar mixture in two batches until just combined. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts and grapefruit zest.
5. Transfer to a pastry bag. If the kitchen is too hot, cool the meringue in the fridge for a few minutes. Pipe sixteen 1 1/2 inch wide mounds about 1 inch apart (32 total). Smooth the tops of the mounds with a wet fingertip. Bake for 15-17 minutes. The macarons should be crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Allow them to cool completely before icing.
1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually blend in the cold water and grapefruit juice.
2. Add the egg yolks, butter, and food coloring, blending until smooth.
3. Gradually add in the boiling water, stirring constantly.
4. Place the saucepan on medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring gently with a spatula and scraping the bottom (to prevent burning). Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for one minute.
5. Remove the curd from heat and mix in the grapefruit zest. Let cool and then use to fill macarons.