Macarons with Lemon Curd…and Why I Thought I’d Never Fall In Love (with Macs) Again
(name that song…)
What do you get when you fall in love?
Macs with no feet to burst your bubble
That’s what you get for your baking trouble
I’ll never fall in love again…
The first time I made macarons, it didn’t turn out too bad. I think I got it too easy. Meh…I’ve done it and that’s it!
In January, I told Deeba and Jamie (or did I beg?) I will be joining Mactweets for Mac Attack 4. I’ve had the book, I Love Macarons , since December and was curious to try the 2 main recipes there. I also thought to test my luck and see if it will pull me through another round of experimentation. Oh, boy, and did The Universe ever slap me back with a resounding ‘Better luck next time!’ and made me hate myself for undertaking numerous failed recipes. (The recipes from the tiny book above didn’t work out for me.)
Eight batches of macarons from different recipes later, here I am.
Yes, you read that right. I said EIGHT. 8!
Making macarons became torture and I asked myself several times — “ARE YOU I-N-S-A-N-E?” during those sad nights of baking.
What do you get when you fall in love…
I became desperate. Our deadline for posting for Mac Attack 4 is today and I had none to show for all my efforts as of yesterday. Before I headed to bed the other night (technically past midnight yesterday), I wailed tweeted about going for my eighth try, and feeling sorry for all the chickens I’ve failed (21 eggs!!!). Deeba gave me the link to the 2-egg-white recipe that she adapted from “Ottolenghi – The Cookbook”. I decided that I might as well try it because I have nothing else left to lose aside from 2 more eggs, putting my egg count to 23 as of last night.
I almost cried and danced when I saw feet about 6 minutes into baking time of the first tray in the oven.
Can you blame me for dramatic reaction? And the abundance of photos? I just need to remind myself that It’s okay! You did it! All those depressing night after night of macaruins are a thing of the past.
I didn’t put any other color or flavorings to the meringue cookie shells, but I made up for it with a very flavorful filling of lemon curd, inspired by my recent Key Lime Meringue Pie. I made lemon curd thickened with cornstarch. It was good, but not good enough to post. I still have to tweak the recipe to have a good flavor and consistency without tasting the cornstarch. I know, I know… The starchy taste wasn’t noticeable once it’s sandwiched between two shells, but I’d just be lying to myself if I say that it’s great. Do you have any suggestions to thicken the curd for the filling? I’d love to hear about it.
In my mind I wanted to have this macaron as a miniature version of a Lemon Meringue pie: the meringue being the shell, and the lemon curd as filling. I’m happy with it, but I’m going to experiment more. I have renewed macaron baking confidence. Haha.
Aside from that pie concept, one of my other goals was to have no waste with the recipe. I had 2 egg yolks from the meringue recipe that went to the curd. If there’s one thing I learned from my macaron Hall of Shame, I’d say I’m done wasting eggs!
The funny thing is, while I mixed the batter for the meringue, I knew this would work. Something about the texture, weight, and feel of it that made me think this one is different. Ah, lather, rinse, repeat.
And this is just the beginning of my Macaronicles: The Saga.
P.S. I forgot to mention that this month’s Mac Attack theme is Mac-A-Valentine and we’re supposed to have Valentine-inspired Macs. I’m not one to go with convention, and instead of something chocolate, I’d prefer the puckery lemon curd. Plus, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than never giving up and sticking with it through hell and back. Eight batches of failed macs in pursuit of the best. Now THAT’s what I call love. (Or martyrdom.)