Lavender and Lemon Macarons and Happy Father’s Day!
It’s that time of year where we gloat, brag and get all smug about the men who raised us, read us our stories, let us cry on their shoulders after we got crushed by our first crushes, cooked us macaroni and cheese just a little runny ’cause that’s the way we liked it and put up with all of our girly emotions and hormones and mood swings through the years. These men, what would we do without them?
I was blessed to be raised with two sets of parents, mom/step-dad and dad/step-mom. Really though, there is no differentiation between the two families – I just say I’ve got four parents. Both dad’s gave raising me and my siblings their all. Sacrificing Saturday mornings to sporting events, school concerts, teaching me to cook everything from cherry flambe to Spam casserole, and even teaching me how to change out the breaks on a ’66 Mustang – yeah, I’m a bit smug about my two Dads.
But today is not just a day for our fathers, but male parentals of all shapes and forms, grandfathers, uncles, and every man who helped raise a child in between. You’re all aces in my book.
This year both male parental figures are elsewhere in the world, so I’m spending this Father’s day with my Huckleberry and Puppy-Daddy Ben. (Ben qualifies as a Dad right, even if it is to a dog?) I miss both father’s a ton, and don’t know what I’d do without him.
Thanks to my dad and step-dad, both equally amazing dudes in very different ways, they raised me to be a relatively well adjusted and productive member or society. Lucky for you all – you get to read the works of their finished product everyday. So, how’d they do? Don’t answer that.
Now that I’m sufficiently sentimental, I wanted to share with you my adapted recipe for Lavender and Lemon Macarons. The original recipe for these bad boys is from Jill Colonna the author of Mad About Macarons. If you’ve never had one of these grace your lips with their presence, you are missing out. For real. You don’t need many of these to reach your daily ration of sweet, but they are delectable and worth the effort to put together.
~ 180ml Whole Milk (Between ¾ and 1 full cup milk)
~ ½ tsp Lemon Extract
~ 1 egg
~ 20g Baker’s Sugar
~ 20g Custard Powder (Bird’s is widely available in the States)
~ Zest of 1 lemon
Line three baking sheets with flat parchment paper (NOT wax paper). In a large bowl, or stand mixer, whip room temperature egg whites until shiny peaks form, adding baker’s sugar gradually. Ensure that your bowl and whisk are perfectly clean and free of any grease, fat or soap.
Lastly add in purple food coloring and whip until throughly incorporated. Add more purple than you think you will need – it fades easily when exposed to light.
In large bowl, sift ground almonds, powdered sugar and ground lavender together. If there are large pieces, discard or grind until they can fit through the sieve. Make a well in the mixture and add in colored egg whites folding in until incorporated.
After egg whites and almonds are combined, smooth out the mixture until there are no air bubbles. When the mixture falls off of your spatula and creates ribbons you will know you are ready.
Spoon the mixture into a large piping bag, or a Ziploc with a small corner cut out to act as a mock piping tip. Pipe the mixture out onto the lined baking sheets in a 1 ½ inch circle. You can make them larger or smaller depending on your needs, baking time will then vary.
After the macarons have been piped on the sheets, let them rest and set for 30 minutes. This resting period will help them form their cute little “feet” and become slightly hard to the touch.
As they set, preheat your oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake in the center rack of our oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Test them after 8 minutes. As soon as they no longer wiggle and are slightly firm to your touch, take them out and let them cool on the sheet until room temperature.
For your Custard:
Cream room temperature butter and set aside. In a small saucepan, simmer milk with lemon extract and zest.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, sugar and custard powder.
Incorporate hot milk and lemon into the egg/sugar mixture. Return to saucepan, and whisk constantly over heat until thickened. Take off heat and place in fridge, covered with plastic wrap to avoid it forming a skin over the top. When cool, whisk creamed butter into the custard. Transfer to clean piping bag.
Finally, to fill your macarons –
Flip over half of all the macarons, piping lemon custard onto the bottoms. Marry the top side to the other macaron, like a sandwich cookie. Continue until all macarons are made. Place in fridge for 24 hours in an air tight container, separating layers of macarons by parchment paper.
But feel free to pop one into your mouth now – it’s so difficult to way a whole day, no one will judge.
Welcome to Country Cleaver, where country comfort and convenient cooking come together. Follow my adventures of self-reliant country cooking and baking from scratch with a little life mixed in for kicks!