- 180 grams confectioner’s sugar
- 120 grams almond flour or blanched almonds
- 90 grams fresh egg whites (absolutely no yolk)
- 45 grams granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- zest of one large lemon
- yellow food coloring, plant-based recommended
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- zest of one lemon (at least a tablespoon)
- 6 egg yolks (about 3 ounces)
- 1–2 tablespoons Limoncello
Cook + cool lemon curd
- Combine half of the butter, half of the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Combine egg yolks with remaining half of sugar in a heat-proof bowl.
- When the lemon juice mixture boils, slowly drizzle it into the egg yolks while whisking continuously (this is called tempering).
- Return mixture to pot, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until it boils.
- Once large bubbles break the surface, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in remaining butter.
- Strain the curd into a clean bowl through a mesh sieve to remove any curdled egg yolks. Add Limoncello now, if using.
- Press plastic wrap on top, and chill.
- Keep curd refrigerated, but serve room temperature.
Bake macaron shells
Without Food Processor
- Sift confectioner’s sugar and almond flour twice. In a large bowl, whisk lemon zest in sifted dry ingredients. Proceed to Step 2 below.
With Food Processor
- Grind almonds/almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and lemon zest for a couple minutes. Stop to scrape the bottom at least once. Sift dry ingredients after grinding.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Combine the egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (hand mixer works, too) and whip on high speed with a whisk attachment to a stiff meringue (resembles shaving cream).
- Add the lemon juice, and whip on high speed 30 seconds more to incorporate (add food coloring here).
- Fold in the dry ingredients in several additions. Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, folding the batter gently until it ribbons off the spatula. Once you can make a “figure eight” with the spatula and the batter keep flowing, stop mixing.
- Transfer to a piping bag (or large plastic bag) fitted with a small round pastry tip.
- Pipe batter into 1.5 to 2-inch circles onto baking mats or parchment paper. If your piped shells could use a little settling out, very lightly tap the pans on the counter. Tapping hard will cause air bubbles to pop through the surface, and all your hard work will deflate in an instant.
- Optional! Let the piped batter rest on the counter for 20-30 minutes, up to two hours. The shell will turn from shiny and sticky to smooth and dull. You should be able to gently brush your finger over the top of the shells without causing an indentation.
- Bake @ 300° F for 16-18 minutes, until tops are hard and do not pull away from bottoms when very gently lifted. Rotate pans halfway through baking, after 8 or 10 minutes.
- Cool completely before removing from baking mat or parchment.
Once the curd is cool, pipe or spoon a small amount in the middle of half the macaron shells, then top with another gently. Store in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving for a more intense flavor. Time spent together allows the lemony goodness of both elements bloom!
If you’d like to fill your lemon macarons with buttercream instead of curd – or even both! – use the vanilla buttercream recipe found here, whisking in two lemon’s worth of zest and a couple tablespoons of Limoncello if you dare!
Keywords: lemon macaron recipe, macaron troubleshooting, limoncello, lemon dessert recipes, french macarons, french pastries, french desserts