#ImprovCookingChallenge: Meyer Lemon Macarons with Lavender Buttercream
Perfect for spring, these meyer lemon macarons with lavender buttercream are sure to impress anyone.
Prep Time:120 mins
Cook Time:18 mins
Total Time:2 hours 18 mins
For the Lemon Curd:
3 medium meyer lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the Macarons:
220 g ( 1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) almond meal
400 g (2 3/4 cups) powdered sugar
200 g egg whites (5–6 eggs), at room temperature
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1–2 drops yellow food coloring
For the Lavender Buttercream:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp lavender extract
1–2 tbsp milk, cream or half-and-half
2 drops pink food coloring
1 drop blue food coloring
Prepare the lemon curd first. Zest the lemons until you accumulate 2 teaspoons of zest. Juice the lemons until you get to ½ cup.
In a heat safe glass bowl or the top pan of a double boiler, add the zest, juice, sugar and eggs. Whisk to incorporate. Place over a pot of simmering water. Add the butter and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.
Whisk frequently until the mixture turns a golden yellow color and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When it reaches that consistency, remove from the heat. Place a mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the lemon curd through it. Cover with plastic wrap pressed against the mixture to stop a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Add the almond meal to your food processor and pulse for 2-3 minutes or until very, very fine. Add in the powdered sugar and pulse, scraping down the sides of the processor until the mixture is as fine as sand.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, add the egg whites and beat on high speed until they are foamy, then slowly add in the sugar. When the mixture reaches soft peaks, add in the food coloring, then continue to mix for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. (You should be able to turn the beaters upside down without the mixture falling off.)
Add ⅓ of the almond meal mixture to the egg whites and gently fold in by hand. Add another ⅓ and mix in by hand until incorporated. Finally, add in the remaining dry mixture and fold in until the mixture is fully combined.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a large round dip and pipe 2-3 inch circles on parchment paper or a silpat on large baking sheets. Set aside until the rounds are hardened and no longer tacky to the touch, anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Prepare the buttercream by adding the butter, powdered sugar and extract to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is mixed in, then add the milk and food coloring. Increase the speed of the mixer and beat until it reaches the consistency of frosting.
Bake the macarons for 18 minutes or until glossy. Allow to cool completely, until you can easily remove them from the parchment or silpat.
Once completely cooled, match cookies of the same size into pairs. Flip one cookie of each pair over.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe a round of frosting around the outer part of the cookie. Add a dollop of lemon curd to the center.
Repeat with remaining cookies and pair cookies back up, pressing gently to allow the buttercream to adhere the other half of the cookie together.
Prep time includes allowing the macarons to set for 1 hour prior to baking.
Macaron ingredients are listed in grams as it’s best to use a precise measurement.