Pretty-in-pink strawberry macarons are sweet and tart, a delicious match of savory almond and fresh fruit flavors! If you plan to make the scratch-made filling, look for strawberries at the peak of their season in your region.
- 180 grams of powdered sugar
- 108 grams almond flour (or blanched, slivered almonds)
- 3 fresh egg whites (about 90-100 grams)
- 55 grams granulated sugar
- pink or red gel or powdered food coloring
- ½ teaspoon strawberry extract, optional (OliveNation sells one on Amazon)
- ½ teaspoon powdered gelatin
- 3 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 heaping cup of destemmed strawberries (about 150g/5 oz)
- 2 tablespoons/1 ounce granulated or coconut sugar, or 1 tablespoon honey
- About 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (from one large lemon)
- tiny pinch of salt
Strawberry French Buttercream
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- 2 large eggs
- 8 ounces of unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature, and cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ cup strawberry jam, homemade or store-bought
- Preheat your oven to 300° F.
- Line a couple of baking pans or cookie sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats, if you prefer). If you plan to use a piping template, place one or two underneath the parchment. I secure my parchment paper in place with a heavy cup or small magnets. You can also dab touches of the batter under the corners of the parchment to stick it down. But this will crust over during baking and create another dish to clean.
- Snip the corner of your pastry bag and place a small round tip inside of it. Be careful not to snip too large of a hole or the tip will fall through. Push a small bit of the bag inside the large end of the tip to keep the batter from leaking out when you fill it.
- Sift the almond flour with the powdered sugar. If using powdered food coloring, whisk it into the dry ingredients here.
- Combine the egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (a hand mixer works, too). Whip on high speed to a firm meringue. The meringue will be shiny, silky, opaque, and resemble shaving cream.
- Add a small amount of red or pink gel food coloring, and whip on high speed 30 seconds more.
- Add all of the sifted dry ingredients into the whipped meringue all at once. Fold the mixture a bit vigorous at first to create a somewhat homogenous mixture.
- Then fold gently by scraping in a circular motion around the inner sides of the bowl and then up over the top. Cut your spatula through the center of the batter about every other stroke. Be mindful to scrape against the bottom of the bowl to bring in all of the dry ingredients. The batter is mixed when it ribbons off the spatula, and settles back into itself in about 20 seconds. Be careful not to over-mix or you end up with a runny, not thick batter that spreads too thin when piped.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared piping bag.
- Pipe batter to the inner edges of the circles on the template. If your batter doesn't settle into flat, gently tap the underneath of the pans to help the circles settle.
- Optional: Let the piped macarons rest on the counter for 10 to 20 minutes. The shell will turn from shiny and sticky, to smooth and dull.
- Bake at 300° F for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the pan once the signature pied, or “feet” form. Take the shells out of the oven before the bottoms begin to brown. It can help to pipe and bake a test batch of just three or four macarons first. This will help you gauge your oven, and the right amount of time to bake. If the macarons explode or brown too quickly, turn your oven down by ten degrees before baking the remaining batches.
- Begin checking for doneness after 12 to 13 minutes. Gently nudge the tops of a couple of macaron shells with your finger. If the tops don't wiggle, the macarons are done.
- Remove the pan and cool the shells for a couple of minutes. Remove from the parchment of the baking mat by gently pushing up from underneath and peeling the macarons off carefully. Fill with a strawberry filling or buttercream, or both.
- Blend the strawberries with the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle gelatin evenly over the cold water in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until gelatin blooms (thickens and turns opaque).
- In a small pot over medium-high heat, combine strawberry purée, sugar, and salt.
- Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often until it thickens slightly.
- Add gelatin mixture off of the heat, and whisk until fully dissolved.
- Cool in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to smooth out. The filling will set relatively thick.
- In your smallest pot, set the sugar and water to a boil over high heat.
- While syrup boils, beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl (or stand mixer with a whisk attachment) at medium speed to soft peaks. Once the eggs reach soft peaks, set the mixer to low and keep it on.
- Cook the syrup until it reaches 248° F on a candy or meat thermometer. Without a thermometer, it typically takes two to three minutes of boiling to reach what's called the soft ball stage in pastry and candy making.
- Slowly drizzle the syrup into the eggs, avoiding the beater or whisk as best you can.
- Once the syrup is incorporated, beat the mixture at high speed until it cools to room temperature.
- Add butter in small additions, and beat until smooth. The buttercream may appear broken and lumpy, but keep beating and it will smooth out. Add extracts, your strawberry jam, and/or liqueur to taste.
- Store refrigerated, and bring to room temperature to use. To revive chilled buttercream, you can beat it again for a minute or two with a hand or stand mixer.
On food coloring... If using gel food coloring, beat it into the meringue at the end of whipping. If using a heat-safe food coloring powder, sift it in with the dry ingredients.
On filling macarons... When filling any macarons, the filling should not reach the edge of the shells. Less is more. Or when you and your people bite into the macaron, the filling will squeeze out in every which direction. And French pastry chefs will turn over in the graves.
On leftover ingredients... you will most likely have extra jam and buttercream leftover. Both can be frozen or kept chilled for a couple of weeks. To revive frozen or chilled buttercream, whip it again with the mixer for a couple of minutes.
The Nutrition Information below is based on the full recipe, accounting for using half of both batches of filling to fill 21 strawberry macarons.
Keywords: french macarons recipe, strawberry macaron recipe, strawberry filling, gelatin