Friday, 12 August 2011

Pistachio and fig macaroons

Macaroons or macarons (French) are really fashionable these days. This is meant to be quite a rustic recipe but even so they're not as scary as they're made out to be. I haven't used an Italian meringue in my recipe (hot sugar beaten in to stiff egg whites), just a normal meringue as I've tried both methods and there doesn't seem to be any difference and trust me it's a lot easier. In this recipe I've used pistachio instead of almonds so unless you can find ground pistachios you'll have to grind your own which though is a bit of a faff it's worth it for these little gems. It's not actually a very seasonal recipe so can be mad any time of year and of course you could make almond lemon macaroons just as easily by using ground almonds instead of pistachios and lemon curd instead of fig butter cream.

Makes 40 macaroons

For the macaroon:
3/4 & 1/3 cups or 125g ground pistachios
1 & 1/4 cups or 125g icing sugar
3 egg whites
1/4 of a cup & 2 tbsp or 75g of caster sugar

For the butter cream:
3 tbsp or 45g butter
1 cup or 100g icing sugar
3 chopped dried figs

1. Line and grease 2 baking sheets and preheat the oven to 160°C or 320°F. Whisk the egg whites until stiff then slowly whisk in the caster sugar spoon by spoon. Fold in the icing/confectioners sugar and pistachios then keep on folding until when you drop it from a spoon it falls like a ribbon. Pipe the macaroon into small circles then leave to dry for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool.

2. While they cool make the fig butter cream. Beat together the butter and icing/confectioners sugar then mix in the chopped figs and ripple in the fig syrup. Sandwich the macaroons together with butter cream.

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