Classic Pistachio Macarons filled with Ladurée pistachio cream. Simply the best!
I can’t believe that just 3 weeks ago, I was strolling through Champs-Elysses in Paris with my husband. Snacking on colorful French macarons from famous Ladurée boutique. Witnessing a beautiful sunset from Arc de Triomphe. I’m telling ya, I had lots of pinch-me-moments. I can’t wait to share all the photos (ok, maybe not all of them, just the highlights) with you here, but first I need to process them all.
Why am I telling you about my vacation again? Well, because today’s recipe is totally inspired by my trip to Paris. I’ve been working on pistachio macaron recipe on and off for a few months now. The biggest holdback was the filling. After having pistachio macarons from Ladurée, my heart melted a little bit. And I knew that’s the filling I want. When I came back, I quickly paged through my Ladurée Macarons book (absolutely the most gorgeous book on the planet!) to see if the pistachio cream recipe is included. And lucky for us, it sure was.
[I get a lot of questions about this white serving dish. I bought this particular one at a local thrift store, but I found similar one on amazon.com.]
Over the last couple of years, I’ve made a few macaron flavors that I’m quite proud of. They are nothing special, just simple classic flavors. In the process, I learned quite a lot about art of making French macaron and developed my own basic recipe for my macaron shells, which is a base for this recipe as well.
A few important notes for success:
- It’s crucial to sift the dry ingredients a few times 1. to aerate the mixture, 2. to mix all the ingredients, and 3. to remove any big chunks of almond or pistachio flour.
- Make sure all the utensils for beating egg whites are completely grease-free. Just a touch of oil has power of ruining your meringue. Some advise to wipe the bowl and whisk with vinegar, but I don’t really bother with that. Just washing and drying with a clean towel does the trick for me.
- Be careful not to include even the smallest drop of egg yolk in the egg whites. Egg yolk=oil. See the above note.
- Don’t beat the egg whites on high speed right away. Instead start on medium low speed then slowly increase the speed for the sturdy meringue.
- Gently fold the batter after adding the dry ingredients. If this is your first time making the macarons, it helps if you count each fold. It usually takes about 50-60 folds to get to proper consistency. I no longer count, but it helped a lot when I was just learning.
- Making macarons is all about technique, and it’s important to learn the folding technique right from the start. At the beginning the batter is quite thick, but it’ll get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over-mix, or the batter will get too runny and the cookies will spread too much. Overmixing also results in hollow macarons. And don’t be tempted to undermix the batter to avoid overmixing, because then the macarons won’t have smooth top and won’t have pretty ruffled bottom. I made this full tutorial video. At 2:25 on the video, I showed you how to know when the batter is just right.
- Make sure the macaron shells are dried sufficiently before baking. It can take from 10min up to couple hours, depending on the humidity. For me, it usually takes 15-20 minutes. If you don’t dry the shells prior to baking, your macarons won’t have those pretty feet.
Now that important non-negotiables are covered, I want to share a few useful tips:
- Egg whites at room temperature are usually whipped better and faster.
- Make your own pistachio flour by grinding shelled pistachio in a coffee grinder.
- Use gel food coloring, instead of liquid ones. I use this Wilton Leaf Green.
- Try to pipe uniform circles for even baking. Mine doesn’t always turn out perfect, but I do my best. If you want to be precise, you can print out little circles and place it under the parchment paper for guidance.
Now, let’s talk about the pistachio cream. This recipe is adapted from Laduree Macarons book, page 40. I had to adjust the ingredients amount to make just enough for my basic macaron shells recipe. This pistachio cream is rich, creamy and delicious.
It might seem like a complicated process, because of the boiling syrup and such. It’s not difficult at all though. Equipped with the right tools, it’ll will take just minutes. A candy thermometer is a must, and standing mixer helps too. Be very careful when you pour hot syrup into the beating egg yolks. Slowly and gradually is your safe speed to work. You don’t want to splatter hot syrup all over, do you?
The recipe calls for pistachio paste, but I had none on hand. I did have a bag of pistachio though. It turns out it’s unbelievably easy to make a homemade pistachio paste. Sure, you can buy a ready-to-use version online, or at the store. If you want to make your own, I shared the detailed directions here.
I hope I inspired you for a weekend project with these dainty little sweets.
Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for stopping by!
Yield: About 25 filled macarons
Cook Time:20 min
Total Time:2 hours (including resting and cooling time)
- 2/3 cup (60gr) ground almond flour
- 1/3 cup (40gr) ground pistachio flour*
- ¾ cup (100gr) powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites (about 70gr)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup (50gr) sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon green gel food coloring
- 1/3 cup (65gr) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) water
- 2 egg yolks
- 2oz (55gr) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 teaspoons (20gr) pure pistachio paste (I used my homemade version)
- In medium bowl, sift together almond flour, pistachio flour and powdered sugar twice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until hard peaks. Add the food coloring (I used Wilton Leaf Green). Beat on medium speed for one more minute.
- Sift the dry ingredients over the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over mix it though. Every so often test the batter to see if it reached the right consistency. To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten. If the edges of the ribbon are dissolved within ten seconds, then the batter is ready. I repeat, do NOT mix again. If you still see edges, fold the batter couple more times and test again. I posted a few pictures above to show you how just a few folding changes the consistency of the batter. This step is so crucial, so please make sure to test often to ensure not to over mix the batter.
- Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. (I use this Wilton A1 large plain round tip.)
- Pipe out 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You should get about roughly 54 shells.
- Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macarons shells.
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 15-30 minutes. On a humid day, it might take an hour or so. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Bake the macarons for 18-20 minutes. To check the doneness, remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheets.
- While macarons are drying, prepare the pistachio cream. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar and heat it over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then bring it to a boil and cook until the syrup reaches 250°F (120°C).
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks for 2 minutes. While the mixer is running on low, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg yolks. Increase the speed to medium high, and beat the mixture until it cools down to 104°F (40°C). The mixture will become smooth and white.
- Add the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then add the pistachio paste and food coloring, if desired. Continue to beat the cream until nice and smooth.
- Transfer the pistachio cream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons. It’s best to serve macarons the next day.
- Store the filled macarons in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in airtight container for up to 5 months.
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