When I heard there was a new MacTweets macaron challenge I headed on over to check it out. The inspiration for our macarons this month is seasonal fruit. As summer fades into fall, we welcome a bounty of new flavors. As I’ve mentioned before, this season holds some of my very favorite. Naturally, my mind immediately went to pumpkin and apple. Then I stopped a moment to think about what else is in season now. I had to look no further than our fruit basket to know which road I wanted to take with this challenge. I had a beautiful bowl full of plums.
I decided to make a plum reduction and then fold it into swiss buttercream. I left the shells plain not only because I had flavored the filling but because I am still a novice at making macarons. I have yet to figure out how to flavor shells and not screw up the whole make up of the macaron which would inevitably end in footless disaster. The only flavor I’ve managed is chocolate but I need to get more experimental. Note to self: Figure that out and challenge yourself to make flavored shells next time!
One Year Ago: Carrot Apple Spice Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups (7 oz) whole almonds, with skins
- 2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) powdered sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups plum buttercream
- 1-2 drops purple gel food coloring, if desired
- 2 cups Swiss Buttercream
- 2 plums, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons honey, depending on sweetness of the plums
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 1 inch circles on the paper, about 1 inch apart as a template. 18 circles per sheet.
- Place half of the almonds and half of the powdered sugar in a food processor. Process for 30 seconds until finely ground. Pour the mixture into a bowl and repeat with remaining almonds and powdered sugar.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whisk on high until very stiff peaks form, 3-5 minutes.
- Gently fold the almond mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula just until combined. Add gell food coloring and fold just until evenly distributed.
- Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip and fill the bag with the batter.
- Pipe 1-inch circles onto the prepared baking sheets, using the circles as a guide.
- Let the cookies stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake until set but not browned, 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and cool completely on the sheets.
- Once cooled, gently lift the cookies off the parchment and flip half of them over.
- Prepare the Swiss Buttercream
- Measure out 2 cups and reserve the remaining buttercream for another purpose. (It freezes great!)
- In a small saucepan, simmer the plums and honey until the plums soften.
- Stir occasionally, breaking the plums up into small bits. Simmer until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy being careful not to burn it.
- Coll the syrup completely to room temperature.
- Fold into the 2 cups of swiss buttercream.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip with the plum buttercream.
- Pipe a nickel-size dollop of filling onto half of the cookies and then top with another macaron.
- Store refrigerated in an airtight container. Serve at room temperature.
Plus two hours rest time.
Adapted from Miette