These peach cobbler macarons are Southern decadence meets Parisian chic. French Macarons are notorious finicky and I cannot clam to be an expert but after tossing several full batches of failed attempts in the trash, reading tons of recipes/tutorials, and experimenting, this is what I've come up with.
Thanks to the expertise of bloggers, pastry chefs and bakers before me, I have figured out some tips and trick to achieve flavorful cookies with smooth crisp shells, fluff feet, and chewy centers.
Peach Cobbler Macarons
- 3 large egg whites
- 50g granulated sugar
- 90g fine ground almond flour
- 180g confectioners sugar
Pie Crust Crumbles
- 40g all purpose flour
- 25g cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- pinch salt
- ~ 1 tablespoon ice water
- Course Sugar Sprinkles
Peach Cobbler Filling
- 100g cup sugar
- 10g cornstarch
- 4 oz peach puree (~1 peach and some water pureed until smooth. I kept the skins on because I knew I would be sieving the filling but you are more than welcome to remove them)
- 2 oz water
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 6 beaten egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 113 oz (one stick) butter cut into cubes
Pie Crust Crumbles:
In a small bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Then, add butter cubes and with the tips of your fingers use a pinching motion to combine the flour an butter mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Then slowly drizzle in the ice water (you may need more or less depending on the day) until the dough just comes together. Roll the dough to 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Place the dough on a silpat lined baking sheet and sprinkle with course sugar sprinkles. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the pie crust from the oven and allow to cool. Then crumble the pie dough until the pieces reach the desired size. You can try cutting the crust with a knife to achieve more uniform pieces. This recipe should provide more than enough for the macarons so you may have some leftovers. Wouldn't they be delicious sprinkled over ice cream?
Peach Cobbler Filling:
In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Then, stir in peach puree, lemon juice and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and then add half of the warm peach mixture to the egg yolks to temper them. Return the egg yolk mixture to the spacepan and cook until it reaches a gentle boil. Then, remove from the heat and add butter pieces and cinnamon. Whisk until melted and fully combine.
To insure a smooth texture, sieve the filling through a fine mesh sieve into a container to remove any egg white or large pieces of pesky peach skin. Use a rubber spatula to push the mixture through and discard any large lumps. Cover the surface of the filling with plastics wrap and chill for at least one hour or until you are ready to use it to fill your macarons.
Preheat the oven to 300F for convection (320F for non-convention) I have used the recipe with both convection and non convection oven. I have found that the convection oven creates a fluffier center but have had equal success with both.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I have had success with these parchment paper liners. If you use folded or rolls of parchment you run the risk of wonky unsymmetrical shells. These liners ship unfolded and have worked well for me. I have also tried silpat liners and both work but I have found that parchment liner produce larger more symmetrical feet. Use a sharpie to create a circle template for when you start piping.
Make sure you flip the parchment paper over after you draw all of your circles so that the side that you marked is facing downwards. Otherwise, you will end up with a transfer of the circle on your macaroon shell like this. --> Also note I piped a little two much for this one as well. ;)
Using a food processor pulse the confectioners sugar and almond flour together several times until fine. Then, sift the mixture using a fine mesh sieve. If there are any large morsels use a spatula to press them through, disagreed any large lumps and set mixture aside. I have found that using the combination of processing and sifting helps to produce very smooth tops.
I prefer to use a handmixer to beat the egg whites. I feel that this gives me more control but a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment will do the job too. Place your room temperature egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and beat on high until the eggs become frothy and lose their pale yellow tint. Then, add the granulated sugar gradually while continuing to whip. Keep beating until the whites get glossy and stick firmly to the sides of the bowl and reach stiff peaks. At this point, add the gel color until you reach the desired color. For these macs I used one drop of ateco gel lemon yellow and one drop deep pink. It is important not to over beak your egg white, this can cause large air pockets to form in the shells between the outer crust and fluffy feet.
Now mix the dry ingredients into the egg whites in 3 equal parts, fold the mixture gentle until it is all incorporated. Once incorporated the tricky part begins. you need to stir out some of the air to make the batter have the right consistency. The batter should run off the spatula in a ribbon. I am still working on finding the perfect consistency here but you want batter spoon on top to standup on itself but then smooths into the batter after 10-20 seconds
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I use a wilton 2A) and pipe onto the template allowing for a little room for the batter to spread when it settles. Give the tip a quick flick of the wrist at the end to help smooth the surface but if you have mixed correctly slight peaks should smooth and become even as they settle.
Once all of the macs have been pipped give the tray a firm tap to help any air bubbles to rise to the top and burst. Keep a toothpick handy to coax the larger bubbles to pop. Then, set the tray on the counter to allow the macs to air dry until dry to the touch. This is the key to large ruffled "feet". Depending on several factors this can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Just be patience and you will be rewarded.
I decided to add the pie crust pieces to my macaron shells before baking. This will help them to stick to the tops. If you would like to do this allow for the shells to dry to almost dry to the touch before you sprinkle. Otherwise, the pieces will fall to the bottom and will hinder the feet from forming in the oven.
Once dry to the touch, place the macs on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 275F (295F for non-convenction ovens) and bake for another 7-8 minutes. Every oven is different so keep an eye on them. The foot should be visible after the first 10 minutes. Remove the macs from the oven and let set to cool. The macs should lift easily from the parchment but a metal spatula can help to release the shells.
Add chilled filling in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. I used Wilton 2A tip. Choose to macaroon shells that are similar in size; hopefully because of the template they all will be :) and pipe a small amount of filling in the middle of one macaroon shell and then sandwich it with the other.
Macarons are best after they have set for a while. I recommend actually freezing the cookies over night and then let them thaw just before consuming.