Pistachio Macarons with Pistachio Praline SMBC

Servings: 75 macarons

Ingredients

  • 159 g almond flour preferably Kirkland’s or Domino’s which is very finely ground and does not need further grinding.
  • 53 g pistachio flour
  • 212 g powdered sugar
  • 82 g egg whites at room temp
  • 90 g egg whites at room temp
  • 236 g granulated sugar
  • 158 g water
  • ¼ tsp lime green Master Elite powder from the Sugar Art see notes about coloring

Pistachio Praline SMBC

  • ½ batch SMBC see recipe link in notes

Pistachio Praline Paste

  • 150 g raw, shelled, unsalted pistachios
  • 150 g sugar
  • 37 g water

Instructions

  • Line 4 light colored baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Use a 1.25in round cutter to trace 25 circles on the parchment paper sheets and then flip them over in the pan. You can either use silicone mats that are already imprinted with the macaron template or slip a piece of parchment paper that you have already traced circles on under the silicone mat while piping then gently remove it before baking. I prefer macarons that have been baked on a silicone mat.
  • Also have ready an 18″ disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton #12 tip (approx 1/4″ wide).
  • Sift almond flour, pistachio flour and powdered sugar together in a large mixing bowl and discard any bits of almond that do not go through the sifter.
  • Pour in the 82 g portion of egg whites and mix together with a spatula until a thick paste is achieved. Set aside.
  • Pour the other 90 g portion of egg whites into the spotlessly clean bowl of your stand mixer along with a pinch of sugar.
  • Combine the granulated sugar with the water in a small saucepan and slowly stir over medium heat. Stop stirring when the sugar is dissolved, attach the candy thermometer and simmer. When it reaches approx 230°F , start mixing the egg whites and sugar at medium-low speed (kitchenaid setting “4”).
  • Continue simmering the syrup until it reaches a temp of 248°F. The egg whites, meanwhile should be reaching soft peaks. If they reach soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248°F, then turn down the mixer speed to stir but do not turn it off.
  • When the syrup reaches 248°F remove the pan from the heat. Turn the mixer to medium-low (4) speed again and carefully pour the syrup into the bowl aiming for the space between the bowl and the whisk. This can be done by hanging the pan just over the lip of the bowl and tipping it.
  • Once all the syrup has been added turn the mixer speed to medium (6) and continue beating until a glossy, stiff meringue is achieved and the bowl is just warm to the touch (about 5 minutes). You may add a few drops of gel color at this point into the meringue.
  • Using a silicone spatula fold one third of the meringue into the egg/almond flour mixture at a time. Unlike other meringues your goal is to deflate it rather than to preserve the volume. This can be achieved by flattening portions of the batter against the sides of the bowl over and over again until — and this is the most crucial part– a continuous flowing ribbon of batter is achieved. This can be tested by lifting the spatula up above the bowl and watching for a continuous ribbon or “lava” effect. You must stop just when you achieve this and not keep going. If it is falling from your spatula in clumps you need to keep going. This is the macaronage technique.
  • Pour the batter into your piping bag. You will likely need to do half at a time. I do not recommend larger bags as this gives you less control. Pipe the batter onto your circle templates. Take each piped pan and bang it with gusto onto your counter several times to get rid of air bubbles.
  • At this point turn your oven(s) on. The temp is the other crucial part. My macarons turn out perfectly at 315°F. You will need to adjust 5 degrees at a time until you find your perfect temp. Also, I never had successful macarons unless I turned the convection fan setting on. Your oven needs about 30 minutes to come to full temp even if it beeps before then claiming that it is ready.
  • Your macarons must rest about 20-30 minutes to develop a skin. For me they are ready when you can lightly press a macaron and create a dimple that does not crack or stick to your finger.
  • Bake your macarons one tray at a time. on the middle rack. The final crucial part is the timing. Again mine are perfect at 13 minutes but if I add a lot of color it may take 14 minutes. Do not open the oven. I used to turn the trays around midway but I found it better if I didn’t. At 13 minutes I check one sacrificial macaron to see if it comes off the mat easily. If not, I give it another minute.
  • Once baked, let them cool on the pans for about 3 minutes before removing them.
  • Pair the macarons with same sized shells and fill with your choice: buttercream, jam, nutella, ganache, etc.
  • Macarons will crisp when cooled. They taste their best when they are chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. This can be achieved by refrigerating the filled macarons in an airtight container for 2 days then allowing them to come to room temp for about 4-6 hours.

Pistachio Praline SMBC

  • Arrange pistachios on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Heat sugar and water over medium heat until it reaches a dark amber color. Immediately pour over nuts and let set.
  • Break up the praline pieces and put in a food processor . Purée to a smooth paste. This will take about 10 minutes and will go through a stage where it looks dry and crumbly — keep going.
  • Mix into previously prepared SMBC. Color if desired before piping onto macaron shells

Notes

NECESSARY Equipment: stand mixer, candy thermometer, sifter, piping bag and #12 tip;
Adapted from Thomas Keller’s recipe in “Bouchon Bakery”
Colors: I prefer using powder color instead of gel and I get the most vibrant colors from master elite colors by Sugar Art.
You can also use Americolor gel colors which will work well for pastels especially pink and yellow. Blue, green and purple are hard to achieve with gel colors.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe

Watch my YouTube video below for step by step instructions for making macarons using the Italian method:

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