Key Lime Macarons

Macarons are a labour of love, and although finicky, once mastered, are a beautiful and delicious treat to share with family and friends.

  • Makes: about 2 dozen filled macarons
  • Cook time: 40 min

Nutritional Information

PER SERVING

  • Calories 130
  • Fat 6 g
  • Saturated Fat 2 g
  • Cholesterol 15 mg
  • Carbohydrate 19 g
  • Fiber 1 g
  • Sugars 18 g
  • Protein 2 g
  • Sodium 50 mg
  • Potassium* 50 mg

*Some ingredients used in the analysis do not provide potassium information, so the potassium mg per serving may be undervalued.

Ingredients

Macarons:
100 g
Naturegg Simply Egg Whites, well shaken
100 g
granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1 ml)
cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1 ml)
green gel food colouring (optional)
125 g
fine almond flour (not almond meal)
125 g
icing sugar
1/8 tsp (0.5 ml)
salt
Lime Curd:
1/2 cup (125 ml)
granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 ml)
cornstarch
1
Naturegg Nestlaid Large Egg
3 tbsp (45 ml)
fresh key or regular lime juice
Pinch
salt
1 tbsp (15 ml)
finely grated lime zest
1 tbsp (15 ml)
butter
Buttercream:
1/4 cup (50 ml)
softened butter
1 cup (250 ml)
icing sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml)
35% whipping cream
1 tsp (5 ml)
vanilla extract
Pinch
salt

Directions

  1. Macarons: Heat 1-inch (2.5 cm) water in a medium pot until steaming over medium-low heat. Place egg whites, granulated sugar and cream of tartar in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place mixer bowl over pot (like a double boiler). Warm egg whites, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is white and frothy.
  3. Remove bowl from heat. Beat with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks form (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add food colouring (if using). Continue to beat on medium-high speed for 5 to 6 additional minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  4. Meanwhile, sift almond flour, icing sugar and salt twice. Add to meringue in two additions, folding by hand, until batter can form a 'figure-8' off the spatula without breaking and flows back into itself after 8 to 10 seconds. (Check frequently to avoid under or over mixing.)
  5. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch/#12 piping tip. Holding bag upright, pipe batter into 1 1/4-inch (3 cm) mounds on silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Batter should spread slightly. Gently tap sheets on counter a couple times to remove any air bubbles. Let dry for at least 15 minutes or until tops are dry to the touch.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°F/150°C; arrange rack in centre position. Bake macarons for 20 minutes or until when tested, a macaron top doesn't wiggle and the 'feet' are set. Transfer baking sheets to a rack; cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  7. Key Lime Curd: Whisk sugar with cornstarch in a small saucepan until evenly distributed. Whisk in egg, lime juice and salt. Set over medium heat; cook whisking constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened and glossy.
  8. Whisk in lime zest and butter; remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl; place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Cool to room temperature. Reserve in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 1/2 cup/125 ml.
  9. Buttercream: Beat butter for 1 to 2 minutes or until very pale and creamy. Add icing sugar, cream, vanilla and salt; whip for 2 additional mixture or until very fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag.
  10. To assemble: Pipe a small circle of buttercream around the bottom edge of 1 macaron. Add a small dollop of lime curd into centre; sandwich with a second macaron.
  11. Layer filled macarons between sheets of parchment and reserve in refrigerator overnight or ideally 24 hours to mature. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Tips

  • For a simpler filling, skip the lime curd. Replace 1 tbsp/15 ml of the whipping cream with lime curd and add 1 tsp/5 ml finely grated lime zest.
  • Cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Extra lime curd can be reserved in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The buttercream is best when freshly made.
  • Read the recipe thoroughly a couple of times before starting. It's also helpful to research other baker's recipes, review blogs and videos before starting to learn the proper techniques.
  • Assemble all equipment and have the ingredients measured and ready before starting to avoid mistakes or critical delays mid-recipe.
  • The proportions for the macarons are given by weight because accurate measures are essential for success. You may discard some of the almond flour mixture that doesn't pass through the strainer, but no more than 20 grams total.
  • Most meringue-based desserts do not like humidity. If baking in the summertime or a humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier and adjust the resting time of the piped batter accordingly.
  • Be sure to use very clean, grease-free metal or glass bowls for making the meringue. Bowls, whips and whisks can be wiped with a paper towel dampened with vinegar to remove any residual oils.
  • Creating a structure with a properly whipped meringue is essential; meringues should be beaten to stiff peaks. However, equally essential is to properly fold and even 'deflate' the batter after the almond-icing sugar mixture is added. This stage is referred to as macronage; and, when complete, the batter should ooze like lava or honey. This allows the batter to smooth properly once piped.
  • Draw circles on the underside of your parchment, or use handy silicone macaron mats to guide your piping.
  • Ensure that your oven is at the proper temperature. A handy oven thermometer will let you know if you need to adjust. Just a few degrees over or under could impact your results.
  • Do not under bake macaron shells; it can cause those frustrating hollows, as the moist interior will collapse slightly upon cooling. If using a silicone baking mat, the baking time may be slightly longer than parchment. Over baked shells are easily rescued by the maturation process, as the filling will soften the crispy bottoms.

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