What is a springtime flavour?
I asked my two BFFs what they considered to scream spring, and we ended up with so many herb and citrus combinations (both for macarons AND for cocktails... whhhaat?).
Honestly, I can't think what else better reflects the fading frost, rays of sun, and new flowers! Herbs are fresh and green, while citrus is juicy and full of spirit.
Out of all of the various combinations, I think the thyme and grapefruit combination sold me the quickest.
Then, like always, it was the big decision: what flavour goes in which part of the macaron. Despite some heavy lobbying for the grapefruit cookie, I have done so many citrus flavoured macarons, so I wanted to try something new.
After the cookie decision, a grapefruit curd was a suggestion instead of the typical buttercream filling. I am so happy that the recipe made extra. I've been grapefruit smothering everything that goes into my body in the last few days. It is easy to make and a delicious addition to... well... anything edible.
So, another bout of laziness brings me to this macaron recipe.
Add one tablespoon of dried thyme herbs to the almond and confectioner sugar mixture before folding in the egg whites. It is best to do it after sifting, so the thyme doesn't get held back in the sifting process. (Live and learn.)
Grapefruit Curd - What you need:
(Adapted from 101cookbooks.)
- 1 cup of grapefruit juice, strained
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice, strained
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 75 grams butter, at room temperature
Grapefruit curd - What you do:
In a small sauce pan on medium heat, heat the grapefruit juice until it has reduced by a half (so that you have 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice). This took me around 15 to 20 minutes to do. Allow the concentrated juice to cool.
In a large heat-proof bowl (you can later use the same bowl as the top of a double boiler), beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Next, add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the salt. Combine everything together well. Finally, add in the grapefruit juice and lime juice. Stir well.
Make a double boiler by bringing water (filled up 1/3 of the way to the top) in a small saucepan to a simmer. After the water is simmering, place the bowl with the curd mixture on top of the saucepan and stir constantly for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the curd easily coats a spoon.
At this stage, take the curd off the heat. It will thicken as it cools.
Cool completely before piping in between the macaron cookies.
I actually made the curd the day before making the macarons for optimal thickness.
Store the curd in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
So I spent the last summer in Durban, South Africa, and these people are hands down the most awesome on Earth (tied with people from London, Ontario - random, I know, but true).
They all went to a music festival last week, and I was super sad and I missed them all! I made myself feel better by listening to tons of the bands playing at the festival, and realizing that I didn't really like any of them... until my friend highlighted Al Bairre.
They. Are. Amazing.
Re-insert jealously. Now.
Favourite: Al Bairre - Youth de Freitas
and also great: Right Here in July