Light almond flour meringue cookies filled with a sweet and tart plum jam surrounded with sugary buttercream.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 40minutes
Cook Time 35minutes
Resting Time 30minutes
Total Time 1hour45minutes
150mLEgg Whites(about 5 eggs), left at room temperature overnight, divided
1-2dropsFood Coloringif desired
4Black Plumsmedium sized, pitted and large diced
½CupUnsalted Buttersoftened to room temperature
Line two flat cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. If you'd like, use a pencil to draw 1 ½-inch circles about 2 inches apart on the parchment, and then flip it over on the sheet to use as a template. Add a large round tip to a large pastry bag and set it aside.
Add the almond flour to a mesh strainer or sieve and gently push it through into a large bowl, to remove any lumps. Repeat with the confectioners sugar and then whisk these together until combined.
Add half the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium, until they lose their translucence and hold medium-firm peaks. Lower the mixer to low, but allow it to continue running in the background.
Add the remaining egg whites and a drop of food coloring if desired to the almond flour mixture. Use a sturdy flexible spatula to incorporate everything together, until you have a uniform paste. This can take some effort, so don't be afraid to mix and fold and use the bowl for leverage.
In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium-high, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until boiling. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer measures 243°F. Then turn off the heat.
With your stand mixer still running on low, carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar into the egg whites. There will be some splatters, but don't try to scrape the bowl to incorporate them. Increase the speed to high, and let it mix together until the meringue has cooled down, about 10 minutes,
Add the finished and cooled meringue into the bowl with the almond flour. Use your spatula to combine the two, mixing, mashing, and folding vigorously until it all combined. Eventually, the mixture will begin to loosen and start to flow off the spatula like a stream of lava when it's lifted from the bowl. If you'd like, this is when you can add more food coloring.
Transfer half the batter into the prepared piping bag. Hold the bag straight up and down about an inch above one of the lined baking sheets. Slowly pipe 1 ½-inch circles about 2 inches apart. These might have a point in the center, but that's fine for now. Hold the baking sheet about 8 inches above the counter and let it drop straight down to remove any air bubbles. Repeat this entire step with the other half of the batter and the other baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Let both sheets sit out on the counter for 20-40 minutes, uncovered, until the batter forms a crust on top of each cookie. If you gently touch one and no batter ends up on your finger, they are good to go.
Make the Fillings
While the macarons are resting, you can prepare the jam and buttercream fillings.
Add the plums and sugar to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar as the fruit releases its juices, and then bring to a boil. Allow the jam to cook about ten minutes, stirring frequently until it is thick and jammy, and a streak stays on the bottom of the pan for about a second before filling in.
Transfer the jam to a jar and chill it loosely covered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer with beaters), add the room temperature butter. Mix on medium low until lightened in color and fluffy.
Add in the confectioners sugar, ½ cup at a time, and continue mixing to incorporate it. Add splashes of milk as needed to help with mixing.
Once all the sugar has been incorporated, stir in food coloring as desired. I used a 3:1 mix of red and blue to achieve the plum-purple color. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip and set aside.
Bake one sheet at a time for 6 minutes, then rotate it 180° in the oven and bake for an additional 6-9 minutes, until the macarons can be carefully peeled off the parchment or mat. Slide the paper or mat off the pan onto the counter to cool.Repeat the baking with the second sheet.
Once the macarons have fully cooled, carefully peel them off the parchment or mats and pair up to make sandwiches.
For each sandwich, flip one of the cookies upside down to expose the bottom. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the outer edge, leaving space in the middle. Fill the space with about a teaspoon of the chilled plum jam. Top with the other cookie, and twist about a quarter turn to hold together.Repeat with the other macarons.
Refrigerate the filled macarons overnight for best results, or for at least 6 hours.
My base macaron shell recipe is Dorie Greenspan's from Food52. The first time I made these, it was a success, so it's definitely a winner of a recipe.
Make ahead tips:
Store filled or unfilled macarons in the fridge for up to 4 days, or frozen for two months. Thaw frozen macarons in the fridge overnight, and refrigerated macarons at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Store the jam in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to week.
Store buttercream in the fridge for 3-4 days, and let it thaw to room temperature before piping.
Weighing your almond flour and confectioners sugar is super important in macarons. These cookies are delicate, and small changes can greatly alter the texture and structure.
Buttercream and Plum Jam French Macarons Recipe from Slumber & Scones https://www.slumberandscones.com/buttercream-and-plum-jam-french-macarons/