The ratio and ingredients for French macarons do not really allow for adding flavor with fresh ingredients, without risking the integrity of your macaronage. Extracts and citrus peel are about all you can safely do in the absence of serious experimentation.
But whip up the strawberry filling below, and your macarons will be singing Strawberry Fields before you know it!
For macaron shells
- 180 grams confectioner's (powdered) sugar
- 108 grams almond flour (or blanched, slivered almonds)
- 3 fresh egg whites (about 90 g)
- 45 grams granulated sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar
- pink or red food coloring, plant-based recommended, optional*
- ½ teaspoon strawberry extract, optional (OliveNation sells one on Amazon)
- 1 cup strawberries (150g/5 oz), stems removed and puréed in a food processor or blender
- 2 tablespoons/1 ounce granulated or coconut sugar, or 1 tablespoon honey (adjust more or less for the sweetness of your strawberries
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
- ¼ cup cold water
- Line a couple of baking pans with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats, if you prefer). If using a piping template, place the templates underneath the parchment.
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Grind almonds with confectioner's sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles sand. Or if using pre-ground almond flour, sift with confectioner's (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 (hand mixer works, too), and whip on high speed with a whisk attachment to a stiff meringue (resembles shaving cream).
- Add the cream of tartar (if using, not essential), and food coloring, and whip on high speed 30 seconds more to incorporate.
- Fold the sifted dry ingredients into the whipped meringue until it ribbons when you drizzle it off the spatula. It should settle back into itself in about 20 seconds. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Transfer to a piping bag (or large plastic bag) fitted with a half-inch pastry tip. I like to push a bit of the bag into the wide end of the pastry tip before filling it with batter, this keeps it from leaking.
- Pipe batter into even-sized circles onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. If your batter doesn't settle into flat circles, gently tap the underneath of the pans to help the circles flatten out.
- Optional: Let the piped macarons rest on the counter for 10 to 30 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 “feet” form. Take the shells out of the oven before the bottoms begin to brown.*
- Cool a few minutes before removing from baking mat or parchment. Fill with buttercream and store chilled for 24 hours before serving.
Fresh Strawberry Filling
- Sprinkle gelatin evenly over cold water in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until gelatin blooms (thickens in the water).
- In a small pot over medium-high heat, combine puréed strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often until it thickens slightly.
- Add gelatin mixture off the heat, and whisk until fully dissolved.
- Cool in refrigerator, stirring occasionally to smooth out. The filling will set relatively thick.
French macarons are baked once the tops don't wiggle away from the bottoms when lightly nudged. If you bake the shells too long and the bottoms brown, simply brush them with simple syrup before filling.
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.
Keywords: french macarons recipe, strawberry macaron recipe, strawberry filling, gelatin