Who said you had to wait until Thanksgiving to eat anything "pumpkin pie", right? Inspired by withloveandcupcakes.com and Pinterest's pumpkin-galore boards I always come across during this holiday season.. :) This version of pumpkin pie macarons are the PERFECT richness of pumpkin pie, in the smallest little morsel of goodness to enter your mouth. Pumpkin spiced macaron shells with a lick-your-fingertips baked pumpkin pie filling, which is also DAIRY FREE! The use of coconut milk makes this filling so silky smooth. A little bit different than your traditional buttercream/ganache filling but don' despair you will be eating more of these jewels before you know it. A HUGE hit at Thanksgiving and my office parties! These are great instead of having to bake an entire pie, these are much more party friendly and great party favors for your guests to take home! —Stacy
ground almond meal
pumpkin pie spice (*BELOW for recipe: mix of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger)
egg whites, aged overnight
red and yellow gel food coloring
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
pumpkin pie spice
organic pumpkin puree (homemade is great!)
SHELLS: In a food processor, blitz the first three ingredients. Sift into a bowl breaking up any large clumps or pieces. Discard any larger bits (about a teaspoon-1 tablespoon).
Place aged egg whites in a clean bowl. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, whisk at medium speed until foamy. Add all the sugar (TIP: YES YOU CAN ADD ALL THE SUGAR AT ONCE) and continue to beat until glossy stick peaks form. Add the red and yellow gel food coloring about halfway in (1:3 ratio to get a hue of orange; adjust as needed. Color will slightly fade when baked). You know they're done when peaks are stiff on the beater and you can hold the bowl upside down*.
Pour half the almond-meal mixture into the egg whites. Fold into the egg whites gently. Add the food coloring, if using and at about 20 turns add the rest of the almond-meal mixture and continue folding for an additional 20 turns. Total of about 40-45 folds. **DO NOT OVER FOLD** The batter should look like molten lava and gently start to slide away.
Silpats work extremely well for macarons but parchment paper will also work. Add a dot of batter on all 4 corners of the parchment paper so it does not move when piping. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). Pipe ~1" sized (3 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets 1" apart. They will slightly spread.
**NOTE**: If you see that your shells have that little tip/peak, lightly dip your finger in water and gently press any peaks down.
Tap the trays onto a flat surface about 10 times to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Let the macarons sit on the counter for 30 minutes. While they sit, preheat the oven to 300F. Tops will be dry to the touch; that's when you know you're ready to bake.
Depending on your oven temperature baking time may vary between 12-15 min. My oven runs hot so my total bake time is 12 minutes, rotating 1/2 way through. They will form their "feet" at the 1/2 way mark. I turned down the oven to about 280F for the second half as my oven is on the hotter side.
Take it out of the oven to cool. DO NOT REMOVE MACARONS STRAIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN. Wait until cool to the touch to gently remove off the tray and onto a rack to finish cooling.
FILLING: Once shells are done turn up oven to 350F. In a small bowl mix dry ingredients with a whisk.
In a separate bowl (medium) whisk the pumpkin, egg, and coconut milk until combined. Add the sugar mixture and whisk until completely incorporated
Place pumpkin mixture in an 8x8 casserole dish and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean (no residue).
Match up the macarons so they match in size (that way you don't end up scrambling on the last few shells that don't have homes ;)) Place filling in a ziploc with 1 snipped corner or pastry bag. Gently pipe a dollop of pumpkin filling in the center of 1 shell. Gently adhere the second shell on top.
TO STORE: For those that will be eating within 1-2 days, you can store in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to sit on counter to reach room temp before devouring. It will actually taste slightly better after it has rested and the shells have gotten a chance to absorb some of that amazing pumpkin pie filling =)
FOR LONGER STORAGE: Freeze pre-filled macarons in an air tight container. Before consuming place on the counter until it reaches room temp.