Spent a day at Love Apple Farms at a macaron class taught by Maggie Catrell. We arrived early and strolled the gardens winding our way through planter boxes filled with beautiful greens and herbs. Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the farm grows vegetables for Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos and runs a storefront offering housemade jams (the strawberry peach amaretto is killer), pickled vegetables and seeds for planting. They offer a variety of cooking and gardening classes, well worth the drive, check it out. Back to the Macaron class, though they sound simple, macarons can be tricky. Here is Maggie’s recipe with her hints
Before you even start making macarons, age your egg whites by separating the whites and placing them in a container. Cover the container with plastic wrap and poke a couple of holes in the wrap. Let the egg whites sit for a day.
- powdered egg whites 5gms
- granulated sugar 28gms (use superfine)
- powdered sugar 225gms
- almond meal 125gms (finely ground)
- aged egg whites 100gms
- pinch of salt
Line a baking sheet with parchment. To help with piping macarons, draw 1 inch circles on parchment, spaced a minimum of 1/2 inch apart. Weigh granulated sugar and powdered egg whites and combine in a small bowl. Sift together almond meal, powdered sugar and salt. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat your egg whites on low speed until foamy. Gradually sprinkle powdered egg white and sugar mixture into meringue. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until a firm meringue forms. Goal is firm glossy peaks, not stiff dry peaks or you have gone too far! Add liquid flavoring at this point and coloring if desired. Add 1/3 of sifted flour mixture and gently fold to incorporate. Continue adding a third and folding into flour is incorporated. When the batter becomes firm and drips slowly form your spatula, you’re done. Put batter in a piping bag with a plain round tip (1/2 inch max for tip size). and pipe onto parchment. Once you have filled the sheet. Grab the pan by the ends, hold pan level and firmly tap pan on counter a couple of times. This will bring air bubbles tot he surface, pop them with a toothpick if they don’t break. Rest cookie batter between 30-60 minutes depending on humidity. But definitely let them rest.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, Bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes, rotate halfway through. Cookies are done when they peel off pan easily. Pull one to check. Ta-da!
Meanwhile back at the farm…..