Classic, beautifully red French macaron shells with a fresh, tart, and most importantly simple to whip up raspberry jam. The ingredient measurements for the shells are given by weight, which is the best practice in baking.
If you don't have a kitchen scale, this French macaron recipe offers measurement in volume. Add the red food coloring at the very end of the meringue stage. The recipe is for a smaller batch of macaron shells, but you can use the recipe form to easily double it.
- 180 grams confectioner's sugar
- 108 grams fine-ground almond flour (or blanched, slivered almonds)
- 3 egg whites (about 90g)
- 55 grams granulated sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar, optional
- about ¼-½ teaspoon red gel food coloring, or a small amount that fits on the tip of a butter knife
- 6 ounces/170 grams fresh raspberries (one small container from the grocery store)
- 3 ounces/85 grams/⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pectin, OR 1 teaspoon of gelatin sprinkled evenly into ¼ cup cold water*
For Macaron Shells
- Line two baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Here are free printable French macaron piping templates to put under the parchment paper.
- If working with whole or slivered almonds: Grind almonds with confectioner's sugar in a food processor for a couple of minutes, until finely ground. Stop the processor once or twice to redistribute the mixture.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until foamy.
- Rain in the granulated sugar while continuing to beat.
- Turn the speed up to medium-high (or high on a hand mixer). Beat the whites to a firm peak meringue. The meringue will be shiny and create pointy peaks off the beater or whisk attachment that curve over ever so slightly.
- If using red food coloring, with the mixer off, use the tip of a knife or a toothpick to scrape it onto the bottom of a beater or the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer back on high speed to distribute the coloring.
- Sift all the dry ingredients directly into the bowl with the meringue.
- Fold until the batter flows slowly and ribbons off the spatula. Mix slightly vigorous at first, then use classic folding strokes; scraping around the sides of the bowl, then up from underneath the mixture, and over through the top.
- Transfer to a piping bag (or large plastic bag) fitted with a small round pastry tip.
- Pipe 1- to 2-inch rounds of batter onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Hold the piping bag vertical, and about a quarter-inch above the pan.
- To help the tops of piped batter settle, lightly tap underneath the pan.
- Optional: Let the piped macarons rest on the counter for 10-20 minutes. The longer the piped batter rests, the less vibrant the color will be after baking.
- Bake at 300° F/150° C for 14-16 minutes, rotating the pan(s) once halfway through baking.
- Cool a few minutes before removing from baking mat or parchment.
- To fill French macarons with the raspberry jam (or any filling), transfer the jam to a piping bag or plastic baggie and snip a small hole in the corner. Pipe jam on the bottom of one macaron shell leaving a small amount of room around the edge. Top with a second macaron shell of similar size. Repeat with remaining shells. Eat any oddballs when no one is looking!
- Store filled French macarons in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks, serve room temperature. French macarons are best after 24 hours, when they've had time to mature with the filling.
Homemade Raspberry Jam
- If using gelatin, "bloom" (or activate) the gelatin by sprinkling it evenly over a small amount of cold water. Use two to three tablespoons of water for every teaspoon of gelatin. Let it bloom for at least five minutes. You will notice the water turns to a gel-like consistency.
- Smash raspberries with a fork or potato masher in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook the berries for a few minutes over low heat to allow the natural pectin to begin weaving its web of sticky fibers.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, and if using pectin add it now, then bring the jam to a boil over the lowest heat possible. Keeping the heat low helps preserve the flavor and structure of the fruit.
- Cook the jam until the sugar dissolves and it begins to thicken, stirring as little as possible. Pectin-thickened jams are done once the temperature reaches about 220° F, depending on your elevation. For higher elevations, 217-219° F is often high enough. See recipe notes for other ways to know when the jam is thick enough.
- If you're using gelatin, there is no need to track the temperature of the jam. Once the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves, remove it from the heat and whisk in the gelatin until it is completely dissolved.
- Transfer the finished jam to a heat-proof bowl, and press plastic wrap against the top to prevent a skin from forming.
- Cool in the refrigerator until thick and set. Store chilled if making ahead.
On baking. I find my oven produces better macarons closer to 290° F, this element of macaron baking requires a bit of trial and error with your own oven. An inexpensive thermometer can help reveal if your oven is lying to you.
For vegan jam. For a plant-based jam, use pectin as a thickener since gelatin is animal-derived.
On Jam Doneness. You can also test the jam for doneness by placing a dollop from the pan on a frozen plate. If it thickens and wrinkles when you push with a fingertip, it's ready. Worse case, if it looks thick and not runny when you let a bit drop from the spoon, chances are it's done.
Jam Storage. Jams on a sugar high are beneficial for one reason, and that's storage. Sugar concentrations of 65% or more act as a preservative, and these jams can be canned and stored at room temperature (assuming proper process).
Keywords: raspberry macaron recipe, raspberry jam, gelatin, pectin