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Macarons with Pear Buttercream

July 10, 2010

Macarons

Everybody’s got a macaron post nowadays. I have a lot of respect to anybody (bakers and non-bakers alike) who has attempted this undertaking. We all know the finicky nature of these almond cookies. You overwhip and the macarons bake flat without their signature “foot”. You underwhip and they turn out just plain wrong.

It requires a lot of practice to make French macarons. I remember that dreaded day when I made them and they all had flat bottoms (not a single cookie had the “foot”). I baked a batch one time with cracks all over the top and then once, they came out with hollow insides. But with enough practice you learn how to avoid these macaron pitfalls.

The Macaron 101 article that appeared on Desserts Magazine from our ever favorite Helen of Tartelette saved my “quest-for-making-the-perfect-macarons” life.

The Beauties

I have a library of baking books and reference books and most of them have macaron recipes that you can follow but they don’t go beyond the “whip your egg whites until stiff peaks, then fold the almond and powdered sugar mixture and then pipe.” Back during my pastry school days, we intentionally skipped the Almond Macaron session so I didn’t hear the to-dos on macaron making from our instructor. Ergo, I give credit to Tartelette’s thorough and thoughtful article on Desserts Magazine for my enhanced macaron making skills. I am no Ladurée or Pierre Hermé that’s for sure, and my macaron prowess will never be at par as these two geniuses but Tartelette’s tutorial educated me dramatically on what I should do or not do when making these beauties.

Macs

The recipe for these French macarons are courtesy of Tartelette’s. Again, I have tried PLENTY of recipes and this is the one that has worked for me the best. I guess after digesting and memorizing every word published on that educational article, I must have convinced myself that this is the best recipe of all the ones I have tried yet. Or it could REALLY be the best recipe out there.

French Macarons

I used Tartelette’s recipe for the macarons I made at my friend’s bridal shower. Here’s a link of her Macaron 101 article on Desserts magazine containing her recipe for a basic French Meringue Macaron. Bake the macaron shells and prepare buttercream below before assembly.

Pear Buttercream

This recipe uses the Swiss Meringue method and makes about 2 cups of buttercream. This recipe can also be easily and successfully doubled to suit your needs. Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.

Ingredients:

2 large egg whites

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

6 ounces of unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces

1/2 teaspoon pear flavor extract

Directions:

1. Set the heatproof bowl of your electric mixer over a medium saucepan with simmering water. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl. Whisk and cook the mixture until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is really warm (about 165° F).

2. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and attach back to the mixer. On high-speed and using the whisk attachment, whisk the whites until it holds stiff peaks. Continue mixing until it has whisked to full volume and has cooled.

3. Set the speed to medium-low. Add the room temperature butter several tablespoons or so at a time, beating well after each addition. Don’t haste on this step. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding more.

4. Then beat in the pear extract until combined. Stir the buttercream with a spatula until smooth. The buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator using an airtight container. Just bring it back to room temperature and beat/whisk before using.

Assembly:

1. Place the buttercream in a piping bag and pipe filling on one of the macaron shells. Take another macaron shell to sandwich with the other one. You don’t need to use a piping bag necessarily, a small offset spatula will do to spread the filling.

*I like to chill my macarons in the refrigerator using an airtight container. I take it out of the fridge an hour earlier before serving.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2010 7:50 am

    These macarons are beautiful! I so want to make them myself and when I do, I’ve also decided to use Tartelette’s recipe–I completely agree with you about recipes in cookbooks. Congrats!

    • July 11, 2010 11:25 am

      Other recipes I have tried before are okay… but really for me, my macarons turn out best using Tartelette’s recipe and techniques. We are obsessed with macarons aren’t we?

  2. July 13, 2010 12:02 pm

    There are a lot of macarons floating around out there, but I haven’t seen any with pear buttercream. How creative and delicious!

    • July 13, 2010 4:23 pm

      I actually thought I would never find a pear extract, but I did! =) I had to stick to the pear flavor to match my friend’s “perfect pair” bridal shower. Thanks… it actually turned out quite yummy!

  3. July 13, 2010 2:12 pm

    Those look amazing!

  4. June 2, 2012 2:12 am

    Great effort and thanks for sharing! Macarons are definitely not easy to make and many recipes out there contradict each other. I recommend The Macaron Master, a great guide that works! http://www.themacaronmaster.com/ 🙂

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  1. French Macarons with Mint Chocolate Ganache Filling « found baking

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