It's been a long time since I've made macarons. To be honest, I've never really considered myself a fan. I think I'm more of a frosting person than a cookie person. I love love love all things sweet but I'd pick a gooey custard bun with a scant dusting of icing sugar over a crunchy and dry meringue kiss any day. I think people tend to go a little overboard with sugar sometimes. I like to think of sugar as another seasoning like salt or pepper rather than as a main ingredient and only add just enough to make whatever it is I'm doing taste good. Except when the amount of sugar is directly related to texture, then whatever. Otherwise, less is more I say!
These red apple macarons are the result of many sleepless nights of tossing and turning, trying to come up with a secret santa present for someone at work. I work in the kitchen and he works on the floor. We really only ever speak in passing which makes thinking up a personal gift so much easier. Okay well.. I know he likes eating apples, he sits an apple on the shelf when he comes in and munches on it every now and then. Why not make him a gift bag with some of my jams (they have apple in them.. some of them), spiced apple cookies and to heck with it! I'll go all out and make apple macarons!
So for the Holiday Cookie Baking Event here's my recipe for not-too-sweet red apple macarons!
When making the apple butter, it is important to have the sugar syrup at room temperature or slightly below. If it is too hot it may cause the butter to melt and you may have to start again. If it is too cold it will set the butter while churning. You'll end up with a curdled looking mass and you'll need to bring everything back up to room temp by pouring out the syrup, beating the shit out of it until smooth then re-adding syrup. Any leftover butter can be stored in the freezer.
Combine sugar and almond meal in a medium bowl & set aside.
155 g icing sugar, sifted
120 g almond meal
66 g egg whites
1/2 vanilla pod
4 g red liquid food colouring
Whisk egg whites until firm.
Add vanilla seeds, red colouring and whisk to combine.
Fold egg whites into dry ingredients.
Grease and line a heavy sheet pan with non-stick baking paper.
Pipe mix into 2 cm rounds with size 7 nozzle, spacing 2 cm apart.
Rest at room temp for 20 mins or until a light skin has formed.
Bake at 140ºC for 14 - 15 mins, turning halfway.
Cool on tray then sandwich together with apple butter.
Zesty Apple Butter
Heat sugar, salt and water together until dissolved.
150 g unsalted butter, chopped
35 g castor sugar
1 g salt
35 g water
2 g fresh thyme, leaves only
1 g lemon zest
10 g apple glaze
Cool to room temperature or cooler.
Beat butter until smooth.
Add thyme, lemon zest, apple glaze and beat until incorporated.
Slowly add sugar syrup, beat until smooth.