I’m back! After a difficult week, it’s time to start writing about food again so that my life can be full of delicious and happy things. I made pistachio macarons a couple of weeks ago as a treat to myself when I had a free night. Yes, it took 3-ish hours, and yes I made some mistakes along the way – but it was a really fun learning experience and I finally got to use up my glut of pistachios. I always just assumed that I needed some kind of silicone pad thingy to make macarons; I was thrilled to realize that this is totally unnecessary. Parchment paper is good for anything and everything.
The great thing about using pistachios instead of almonds is that pistachios naturally give the cookie color – no need for food coloring (see my failure with natural food coloring here). The other great thing is that these taste like pistachios. Pistachios are awesome.
yields approximately 25 cookies
1 cup pistachio flour (grind up pistachios in your food processor – this will take longer than almonds would)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 large egg whites (2 in one bowl, 1 in another)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Filling (see below)
Press the pistachio flour and the confectioners’ sugar through a strainer over a large bowl. This will take a long time. Think of something that makes you angry to help the process along.
Put two of the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Put the remaining one egg white in the bowl with the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar – and then mix these together using a spatula. It will look like a paste when it’s done.
Beat the eggs in the stand mixer over medium speed until they reach medium-firm peaks. Turn the mixer speed to low when this is done.
While you’re beating the eggs — trying to bring them to medium-firm peaks — bring the granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook with a candy thermometer until it reaches 243F. (I accidentally burnt my sugar/water mixture because my saucepan was too large and the candy thermometer didn’t have enough sugar goo to dip its end in to read the correct temperature – make sure your saucepan is small or your candy thermometer is super powerful!).
When the sugar/water mixture is at temperature, add this to the stand mixer while on a low speed. Raise the speed to high after it’s all poured in – this will turn the mixture into a meringue. Keep it on high until the mixture cools to room temperature. This took about 8 minutes for me.
When cooled, add the stand mixer meringue to the pistachio flour bowl and mix it in until it is batter-like.
Once ready, you can spoon the batter into a pastry bag or ziplock bag with a cut, and then pipe out 1 1/2-inch rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Let the baking sheets sit until the macarons form a slight crust (~15 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350F.
Bake each sheet for 6 minutes, and then rotate the pans and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes.
Slide parchment off the baking sheet onto a counter or table and let cool to room temperature.
Peel off the macarons and match them up in pairs.
OK, so for these, I used raspberry jam for some, and then unsweetened whipped cream for others. I thought maybe the two combined would also be good. The center is the best because you can use whatever you want!
Yay pistachio macarons!