Peppered Grapefruit Macarons
Refreshing grapefruit curd is the perfect sharp flavor for buttery cookies or delicate macarons. Try one, try both, eat it all up!
Contributed by Kayla Thomas from EATINGELSEWHERE.COM
Published: June 20, 2017
Serves: 24 cookies
- 70 grams egg whites, left at room temperature for 2 hours
- 91 grams almond flour
- 91 grams powdered sugar
- 63 grams sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pink or red gel food coloring
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 100 grams sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 288 grams all-purpose flour
- 125 ml freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
- Zest of 1 grapefruit
- 85 grams unsalted butter, cubed
- 75 grams sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
- Piping bag
Peppered Grapefruit Curd
- I used this curd for both macarons and butter cookies. It is delicious with both, but better with macarons. The butter cookies are a bit heavy for the curd and smashed the curd over the sides of the cookie. Still tasty together, but not as neat. The light macarons rested just on top of the curd, delicate and fresh and pretty as a picture. Macarons are, however, much trickier than butter cookies, which hardly ever go awry, to bake and they require a kitchen scale. If you go the macaron route (I hope you do!), I've composed a post with links to my favorite macaron sources across the great web. I also advise reviewing my tips for macaron baking before beginning.
- For macarons, begin by separating your egg whites and leaving at room temperature for 2 hours. In macaron baking, there is some tension regarding the process of aging egg whites before making macarons. If you would like to age longer than 2 hours at room temperature, please do not hesitate in doing so.
- Prepare two heavy-duty baking pans by lining them with silipat (my preference) or with parchment paper.
- Run more almond flour than is needed through a fine mesh strainer. Run through the mesh strainer again, this time weighing the precise amount needed.
- Run powdered sugar through fine mesh strainer, adding the sifted sugar to the bowl with the sifted almond flour. Whisk sifted almond meal and powdered sugar together to combine.
- Run both the inside and outside of a medium mixing bowl under hot water for several seconds, until the bowl feels warm. Thoroughly wipe down the inside and outside of the bowl, making sure that there is no water left in the bowl.
- Add aged egg whites to the warm bowl and beat on medium speed until foamy. When foamy, add cream of tartar and resume beating on medium-high speed.
- When visible trails are evident in the egg whites, add 1/3 of the granulated sugar to the bowl. Beat into the eggs. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and continue to beat. Add last of the sugar and beat into the egg whites.
- After the sugar has been added, drop 1 - 3 drops of gel food coloring into the egg whites. Make sure to add the food coloring before the eggs have come to stiff peaks. Continue to beat the eggs until you have reached stiff peaks. This has occurred when the egg whites stand tall, with absolutely no curls at the edges, when the mixer is removed from the egg whites. You can tell that you are nearing stiff peaks when the egg whites begin to thicken and form rivulets as the mixers go through them.
- Once you have reached the stiff peak stage (and not a moment before!), stop beating and use a rubber spatula to remove the egg whites from the beaters. If you have reached stiff peaks, there should be quite a bit of meringue caught in the beaters. Sift 1/3 of the almond meal and powdered sugar mixture into the meringue. Do not force large pieces of almond or sugar through. Stop once the fine pieces have been sifted in and weigh the remaining clumps. Keep note of this number, as you will add almond flour to replace this amount.
- Fold the flour into the egg whites with the rubber spatula by sliding the spatula beneath the egg whites and turn it over onto itself. It will seem as if the flour will not incorporate, but it will after a few folds. Stop immediately once the flour is incorporated.
- Sift the remaining almond flour and powdered sugar into the meringue. As above, do not force any large pieces into the mixture. Large pieces of almond and sugar will weigh the macarons down and prevent feet from developing in the baking process. Weigh remaining chunks of flour and add this number to the leftover almond weight from step 9.
- Sift equal parts of almond flour and powdered sugar into a separate bowl and weigh. Once the needed amount is reached, sift into bowl with meringue.
- Begin folding the meringue, sliding the spatula to the middle of the meringue and folding it over itself until the almond flour is fully mixed into the meringue. Do not beat or stir, only fold during this process. The mixture will start out very thick and as you fold, it will begin to loosen. Continue to fold until the mixture is the consistency of honey. When you lift your rubber spatula from the bowl, the mixture should run off like honey or molten lava, slow and consistent. This will take several minutes of folding. Another good way to tell is by moving your spatula in the shape of figure eight. If the batter runs off the spatula and makes a visible figure eight, you should stop folding.
- Add mixture to a piping bag and pipe macarons onto prepared baking sheet in 2 cm wide circles, leaving enough space between the cookies for a bit of spread (between 3 - 4 cms is plenty).
- Once you have finished piping the macarons, rap the baking sheets against the counter. You will do this by grabbing the edges of the pan with the tips of your fingers, raising the pan about a foot about the counter, and dropping it straight down to the counter. Repeat twice more. Rotate the pan once, so that it is now long ways, and rap. You will do this for each side of the pan, each side rap 3 times.
- Preheat oven to 320.
- Rest macarons on stovetop while the oven preheats. Rest for 30 minutes, or until a visible skin has developed on each cookie. The macarons will appear dull and matte at this stage. Do not put them in the oven before this has happened.
- Bake, one tray at a time, for 12 - 15 minutes. Adjust temperature and cooking time according to the results from your first tray.
- Want to see something way easier with way fewer steps? Here's how to achieve those butter cookies. Preheat oven to 325. In a medium size bowl, add room temperature butter, sugar, and salt. Beat until the mixture is fully smooth and perfectly creamed (butter is no longer in visible clumps).
- Add flour to the bowl and using a rubber spatula, or even your hands, massage the flour into the creamed sugar. Once fully combined, remove from the bowl and place in plastic wrap. Roll into a log, about 12-inches long, and cut cookies into 1/2-inch circles. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until cookies have just begun to brown.
- To prepare the grapefruit curd, add grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest, butter, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and black pepper in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring to keep the eggs from scrambling. The mixture will begin to thicken after several minutes over the heat. Cook until the curd has become thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Run through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate immediately to allow curd to thicken. This will take about 2 hours.
- Once curd has set, use a piping bag to pipe curd onto cookies and make sandwiches.
Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 6 hoursTags: Almond, Macaron, Cookies, Grapefruit, Curd