Pumpkin Spice is back - Starbucks (and everyone else started serving PSL this week. It may sound cheesy but I look forward to the return of the PSL - it's a modern harbinger of Fall.
So here is the first macaron of fall before we get tired of pumpkin spice everything.
This one has ground up pumpkin seeds making up about 1/5th of the nut meal mix. I just invented that phrase "nut meal mix". The pumpkin seeds should be plain, nothing added. I bought mine in bulk at Whole Foods. But they are easy to find. I also added pumpkin pie spice which I sometimes use in place of cinnamon - that way it gets used up and a fresh container can be purchased for holiday baking.
The method is my Italian hybrid technique - a mix of French and Italian that I designed for a class in San Diego, a few years ago. This one gives you very pretty feet, nice and tall. I feature this book in my book, Mastering Macarons, Classic to Contemporary Techniques available from www.amoretti.com.
Stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachmEquipment: small saucepan for cooking sugar syrup, instant read thermometer, large bowl, spatula, food processor, scale, #12 Wilton 12 or any plain round tip with a 3/8” round opening, piping bag. 2 half sheet trays lined with templates and covered and parchment paper. If you would like a set of templates, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email them to you.
Pumpkin Spice Macarons
25g Pumpkin seeds
100g Almond meal
150g Powdered sugar
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice *with the 1/4 teaspoon, they will be spicy
87g Egg whites
1/4 tsp Egg white powder (optional)
Orange gel color
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (optional)
1. Place the pumpkin seeds in the food processor and grind them until they are medium fine. Add layers of the sugar and almond meal in the food processor and grind the pumpkin seeds, almond meal, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice together for 30-45 seconds or until it is a fine powder. Set aside.
2. Place the egg whites and optional egg white powder in the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachmpentand turn the mixer on to medium low speed.
3. Place the water and the sugar in a small saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to a boil.
4. Could the sugar to 230 degrees and add orange food color. It should be a deep orange color as it will lighten as the meringue is created.
5. At 236 degrees pull the sugar from the heat and pour the sugar into the moving egg whites. When pouring, lock the lip of the pot to the lip of the mixer bowl and aim for the space between the whisk and the side of the bowl.
6. Turn the mixer to medium high and whip until the mixture lightens and looks fluffy. Add optional vanilla extract.
7. Increase speed to high and whip until the meringue holds a peak.
8. Check for peak. The peak should be firm with the angle supporting the peak at 11:30. Transfer to the large bowl.
9. Fold in the almond meal and powdered sugar in three increments.
10. Paint the mixture halfway up the side of the bowl, scrape down and repeat until the mixture slowly sides down the side of the bowl - the batter almost becomes elastic.
11. Pipe onto parchment cover paper templates. Slam the tray hard, 4-6 times on the counter, then fist bump the tray twice to remove any excess air bubbles.
12. Let dry until they look dull (25-40 minutes) depending on humidity. They should look dull.
13. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
14. Bake for 11-13 minutes, macarons are done when the shell does not glide back and forth on the foot, the macaron releases from the dry and the foot looks dry not damp. If the macarons are still sticking to the tray, put them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes.
15. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the Silpat or parchment paper.
Equipment: Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, spatula
4 ounces (113g) Unsalted butter
9 ounces Powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon Sour cream, yogurt or creme fraiche
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Maple flavoring or maple extract ***I ordered my maple flavoring from The Spice House in Chicago. www.thespicehouse.com
1. Put the butter in the mixer bowl, mix on low speed for 1 minute, increase speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes.
2. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add half the sugar. Mix on low speed until the sugar in incorporated, then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Stop the mixer, scrape down and add the remaining sugar. Mix on low speed until the the sugar is incorporated then increase speed to medium for 2 minutes.
4. Add sour cream, vanilla and maple extract. Mix for 3 minutes on medium high speed.
The buttercream will keep in the refrigeration for 5 days and in the freezer for one month.
Filling the macarons. Load the buttercream into a piping bag, fitted with a plain round tip - you can fill these without a tip but this gives you more control. Fill with about a tablespoon filling, top and chill for a minimum of 1 hour before serving. This buttercream is very stable so these can be filled and frozen up to one month, carefully packaged in an airtight container. Thaw at room temperature without opening the container.
Without freezing they will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.