Pumpkin French Macarons

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By Sneji
November 23, 2022

I feel like fall went by too quickly… I’m already missing it. To make it last a little longer I created this recipe which reminds me of fall and its pretty colors… 

I love french macarons. They are so delicious. As we are currently in the pumpkin season, I decided to make pumpkin flavored macarons. Unfortunately, I can’t put pumpkin in the batter but I can add the spices that we associate with pumpkin. I made a few batches before I finally found the perfect recipe and here it is. It is not very strong but it is enough to remind us of the beautiful fall flavors we all know and love. 

About 10 years ago, my eldest daughter brought me french macarons from Paris. That is when I tried them for the first time. We were so fascinated that I was immediately interested in how they were prepared. My first impression was admittedly not encouraging. Every recipe warned about how difficult macarons are to make and how easily you can get them wrong, which put me off a bit. However this didn’t stop me, I decided to try and experiment. My first ever macarons turned out really big and purple. They were supposed to be blueberry flavored. Honestly, despite their enormous size they are really fine for a first try, even my youngest daughter still remembers them and says she loved them at the time. Since then, I have been preparing macarons so easily and quickly. When I don’t have time to prepare a dessert or when I need different types of cookies on holidays I choose to make them.

What can I suggest to you? Be patient and make them with love. I follow the same steps every time and they always work for me. I will share those steps with you in this recipe but know you still need to be patient and it might take you a few tries before you get them to be perfect. But I am sure with time you will find your way of making macarons, just like I did.

First of all, you need to sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. If you want really smooth shells, then you need to put them in a food processor, make sure the almond flour and powdered sugar turn into a fine powder. Process them for about 2 to 3 minutes maximum and after that sift them again.

Second of all, the most important step is the meringue. You have to add the sugar gradually and the meringue must form soft peaks.

Third of all, when you mix the flour with the meringue, you have to combine gently with spatula until the meringue falls and softens slightly. Don’t over mix. If you think it is soft enough you can put it in the pastry bag. 

Fourth, when the macarons are piped, hit the baking sheet flat on your work surface three times to slightly spread the batter and to pop any air bubbles trapped in the shells. If needed, use a toothpick to pop stubborn bubbles.

Fifth, let the shells rest at room temperature before baking them. They should stay like that until a skin forms which could take from 15 minutes to a few hours. It all depends on the humidity in the room. To test, lightly touch the top of the macaron with a finger. It should be dry to the touch and batter shouldn’t stick to your finger.

Finally, bake the shells in a preheated oven at 270°F for 15-16 minutes. Don’t use convection settings for baking macarons. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet.

Ingredients

Macaron shells

  • 125 g almond flour
  • 125 g powdered sugar
  • 90 g egg whites
  • 80 g sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp orange gel food coloring

Cream filling

  • 50 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree (here is the recipe)

Instructions

Macaron shells

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a teflon sheet or a silicone mat.
  • Put the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and processor into fine powder for about 2 to 3 minutes maximum.
  • Sift the powdered mixture and add the spices ( cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves).
  • In a big bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed and gradually add the sugar until foamy.
  • Sift the powdered mixtures into the beaten egg whites. Using a silicone spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until fully incorporated. Then continue to fold the batter until it is runny enough to draw a number eight in it . Add the orange gel food coloring and mix until the batter has a unified shade of orange. 
  • Transfer the batter into a pastry bag (you can fit it with a round tip 2A).Hold the pastry bag at a straight 90° angle and pipe, on the prepared baking sheets, circles with a 4 cm diameter with about 2 cm apart from one another.
  • Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or using your hand) a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. You can also use a toothpick to burst some of the larger air bubbles. Let the macarons sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes. When you touch the macarons lightly and the batter does not stick to your finger, it means they are ready to go in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 270°F (135°C).
  • Bake one baking sheet at a time, place your tray on the middle rack and bake for about 15-16 minutes. Know that for larger macarons, it will take longer. You can test if they are done by touching a macaron lightly and by trying to move it. If it slides and wobbles, bake a minute or two longer. The cooked macarons should be firm to touch and the base shouldn’t move.
  • Let the macarons cool down completely and only then remove them from the parchment paper.

Cream filling

  • In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, the cream cheese, the powdered sugar, the ground clove, the ground nutmeg, the ground cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Add the pumpkin puree and beat again. Cover with a foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Assembling

  • To assemble the macarons, pair the macaron shells by size and arrange them on a wire rack. Line them up so that the bottom shells are upside down.
  • Pipe a dollop of filling on the bottom shells. Place the top shell over the filling and press lightly so that the cream spreads evenly around the edges.
  • Store the filled macarons in an airtight container.

Bon Appétit!

Pumpkin French Macarons

Servings 24 macarons

Ingredients
  

Macaron shells

  • 125 g almond flour
  • 125 g powdered sugar
  • 90 g egg whites
  • 80 g sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp orange gel food coloring

Cream filling

  • 50 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree

Instructions
 

Macaron shells

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a teflon sheet or a silicone mat.
  • Put the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and processor into fine powder for about 2 to 3 minutes maximum.
  • Sift the powdered mixture and add the spices ( cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves).
  • In a big bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed and gradually add the sugar until foamy.
  • Sift the powdered mixtures into the beaten egg whites. Using a silicone spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until fully incorporated. Then continue to fold the batter until it is runny enough to draw a number eight in it . Add the orange gel food coloring and mix until the batter has a unified shade of orange. 
  • Transfer the batter into a pastry bag (you can fit it with a round tip 2A).Hold the pastry bag at a straight 90° angle and pipe, on the prepared baking sheets, circles with a 4 cm diameter with about 2 cm apart from one another.
  • Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or using your hand) a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. You can also use a toothpick to burst some of the larger air bubbles. Let the macarons sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes. When you touch the macarons lightly and the batter does not stick to your finger, it means they are ready to go in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 270°F (135°C).
  • Bake one baking sheet at a time, place your tray on the middle rack and bake for about 15-16 minutes. Know that for larger macarons, it will take longer. You can test if they are done by touching a macaron lightly and by trying to move it. If it slides and wobbles, bake a minute or two longer. The cooked macarons should be firm to touch and the base shouldn’t move.
  • Let the macarons cool down completely and only then remove them from the parchment paper.

Cream filling

  • In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, the cream cheese, the powdered sugar, the ground cloves, the ground nutmeg, the ground cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Add the pumpkin puree and beat again. Cover with a foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Assembling

  • To assemble the macarons, pair the macaron shells by size and arrange them on a wire rack. Line them up so that the bottom shells are upside down.
  • Pipe a dollop of filling on the bottom shells. Place the top shell over the filling and press lightly so that the cream spreads evenly around the edges.
  • Store the filled macarons in an airtight container.

Bon Appétit!

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    Author: Sneji
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: french, macarons
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