By Lisa Maliga copyright 2018
Orange curd, like lemon and lime curd, isn’t difficult to find in many grocery, health food or even discount stores. I was in TJ Maxx checking out the jams and jellies section, which is nicely stocked throughout the year, when I saw a jar of orange curd and thought it, might make a nice macaron filling. The taste wasn’t as tangy as I thought it would be so adding orange extract was necessary to get a brighter and tangier orange flavor. But it depends on your preference and the brand you buy—or if you make it yourself.
This was also the first time I used egg whites from a carton. I let them get to room temperature, but that’s not even necessary. I’d read that it takes longer to whip them up and it took me more than double the amount of time. Instead of separating the egg whites by hand, and not having to waste any eggs or remove any shells, the time saved was negligible.
While this recipe isn’t included in my book Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method, it follows the same formula as the other recipes and is detailed enough for most home bakers.
160 grams confectioners’ sugar, sift with almond flour
160 grams almond flour, sift with confectioners’ sugar
150 grams egg whites
180 grams confectioners’ sugar, sieved
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
Orange food color gel
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and set aside.
Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Place bowl over steaming pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium heat until it steams. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F.
Remove from heat and place bowl back onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
Add food coloring and whisk until the color is incorporated.
Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture and food coloring.
Turn mixer to low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Test for the ribbon stage. When you lift your spatula above the bowl, the batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
Pour batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a toothpick.
Let shells rest on a flat surface in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. The surface will change from glossy to matte. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
Remove from oven and slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack.
Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling.
Using an edible brown food color gel pen, carefully draw spirals on each shell.
When the shells are dry, match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.
Orange Curd Macaron Filling
125 grams [4 ounces] unsalted butter, room temperature
125 grams [4 ounces ]mascarpone cheese, room temperature
40 grams [1/3 heaping cup] confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
2-3 Tablespoons orange curd
1/2 – 1 teaspoon orange extract [optional]
Orange food color gel
Beat the butter and mascarpone cheese until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, followed by the orange curd. Then, add the vanilla while continuing to beat. Mix for about 5-7 minutes. Add extract. Spoon into a piping bag. You can use a French piping tip if you prefer fancy edges. I used an Ateco #863 for this recipe.