Chef Colette is back in the Amoretti Test Kitchen! Today she and Chef Barbara walk us through Pumpkin Spice Macarons with Maple Buttercream. For more fun, they supplement Blanched Almond Flour with an equal weight of ground pumpkin seeds! This time we're using the Hybrid Italian Technique (from pg 25 of Chef Colette's book) along with her instructions for Alterna-nut shells (pg 57) for these tasty Pumpkin Spice shells. Makes 30-35 cookies.
PUMPKIN SPICE MACARON SHELLS
- food processor or mini-prep
- saucepan for double boiler
- stand or handheld mixer
- large bowl
- rubber spatula
- large piping bag fitted with #12 tip
- 2 half sheet pans, lined with parchment
- small piping bag fitted with tip of choice
- Layer the powdered sugar, Almond Flour, and ground pumpkin seeds in a food processor or mini-prep fitted with a metal blade.
- Pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal – about 15 seconds. Remove the dry mixture from the food processor and transfer to a bowl.
- Place the egg whites and meringue powder in the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment and turn the mixer on to medium-low speed.
- Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan – it should look like wet sand.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. It is a small amount of sugar and will cook quickly.
- At 236℉ remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot sugar into the moving egg whites. Lock the lip of the pot to the lip of the mixer bowl and aim for the space between the whisk and the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high and whip until the meringue cools to 94℉ (meaning you can comfortably touch the side of the bowl).
- Add Natural Pumpkin Spice Extract and orange gel food color. Mix to combine.
- Now check for peak. The peak should be firm with the angle supporting the peak at 11:30. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
- Fold in the almond meal and powdered sugar in three increments.
- Paint the mixture halfway up the side of the bowl, using the flat side of your spatula. Then scrape the mixture down to the center of the bowl.
- Repeat 2-3 times then check to see if the mixture slides slowly down the side of the bowl.
- Pipe on parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheets.
- Slam the tray, hard, 4-6 times on the counter. Then fist bump each side of the tray twice.
- Let dry until they look dull but not overly dry. **Drying time varies on humidity. In a dry climate the macarons can dry in 15-20 minutes and in a humid climate it can take 35-40 minutes. Generally, never let them dry for over an hour.
- While the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 325℉.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 11 minutes.
- Check macarons, ff their tops slide, then bake for 2 -3 more minutes. They should release from the parchment or Silpat without sticking. Check one or two. If they stick, put them back in the oven for 1-2 more minutes.
- Let them cool for a few minutes before removing from the Silpat or parchment paper.
- Combine buttercream and Maple Extract.
- Using an open star tip, pipe a flat rosette on half the macaron shells, match each with another shell.
Recipe excerpted from Mastering Macarons: Classic to Contemporary Techniques by Master Chef Colette Christian, CMB, CEPC, CEC. © 2018 Jamara Licensing, LLC. Book available for purchase here.
- Macarons are best after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Ideally, when you bite into the macaron the shell is crisp and the inside is soft.
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