I am allergic to tree nuts. This meant I could not eat macarons. I can't even walk into a macaron store, because the almond meal (or flour, whatever they use) permeates the air, and I start to feel the effects of my immune system. I've had people pat me on the back, lamenting my inability to consume nutella, macadamia nuts, almond croissants, and macarons. Well, I refuse to accept this. I may not be able to consume the nuts, but I will look for a way to have macarons - with pumpkin seed flour. Thanks to my lovely sister Lucy for helping me with this recipe! Step by step photos available on the blog: http://lejusdorangeblog.com/2014/08/04/earl-grey-macarons-nut-free/ —Betty
Earl Grey Macaron
pumpkin seed flour (directions below)
egg whites, aged
earl grey leaves, ground into a fine powder
Pumpkin Seed Flour: Preheat oven to 325F. Toast for 10 minutes on a baking sheet. Using a coffee bean or spice grinder (or food processor), grind seeds into a fine powder.
Measure out 3/4 cup pumpkin seed flour and combine with 1 cup powdered sugar. Sift two or even three times. Make sure there are only powdered pieces in there. Add earl grey tea leaves.
Meringue: Whisk egg whites until foamy. In four batches, add in 4 tablespoons of sugar. When peaks are glossy, stiff, and firm, set aside.
Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture into meringue. Do not add flour mixture all at once. You may have too much flour. There is a technique called “fold and drag”. Take the spatula and fold as you would normally fold, then you drag it across the bottom, gently. Do this until all the mixture is incorporated. Then, do the 2nd 1/3 of the mixture. Repeat. At this point, check to see what the consistency is like. If it is already thick, then you are done. If it is too runny, then add the remaining 1/3 of the mixture. I think I used almost all the mixture.
At this point, your batter should be like lava.
Scoop batter into a closed pastry bag (no tip needed). Cut off the tip to create an opening. On a parchment lined baking sheet, pipe in circles (start from outer edge). When everything is piped, raise baking sheet about 6″ from a flat surface, and let it fall. This will knock out some more air and get rid of peaks.
Rest for 30 minutes.
Bake for 8-9 minutes
Honey Vanilla Buttercream: Beat butter with honey until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and salt. If frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too stiff, add in a splash of milk.
Assemble macarons: Pipe frosting using a pastry bag and a round tip (or just cut a hole in the bag), again starting from the outer edge. Gently place the other macaron cookie onto the frosting, and you have your “macaron sandwich”