Apple pie has always been one of my favorite pie fillings, but I mean, a pies a pie.
I wanted to take the idea of an apple pie and ice cream and update it into a more modern dessert.
French Macarons, are a meringue style cookie… not to be confused with Macaroons, a coconut based cookie… are all the rage in the pastry world right now.
These sandwich style cookies are made mainly using ground almonds folded into whipped meringue. Almonds are traditionally used because they are a dryer nut compared to others.
The key to a successful macaron is packing a punch and huge flavor into one bite, these walnut spiced macaron shells filled with cream cheese and apple pie filling definitely fit that bill!
To create this recipe I tested and retested the quantities and ratios until I came up with the perfect combination. For anyone who has every tried to make macarons knows EXACTLY finicky these little gems can be… and I have a mountain of 8 failed batches to prove it!
Not only is the ratio of ingredients extremely important but the drying time… yes drying time before baking is a HUGE deal with these cookies. They MUST rest long enough and form a skin on the top before baking.
When you touch the tops they should not be sticky/tacky. This is important so that when the macarons bake the tops don’t crack and you get a beautiful foot (rise) on the cookies.
This recipe is also a great balance and not overly sweet. The method used for my macarons is the Italian meringue style. This method is done by creating a sugar syrup used to stabilize the eggs (other methods you may have seen are Swiss, done by heating the whites and sugar over a double boiler.. and french style, done by whipping the whites and slowly adding the sugar) Either way you choose is up to you. This method I found to be the most successful and create an extremely stable base.
Enjoy the flavors along with the fruits of the seasons… hrmmm and I guess of your labor ;)… with these Apple pie inspired macarons.
Trust me, that bite is worth EVERY bit of the effort it takes to make them.
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
|Passive Time||20-30 minutes|
- 1 Cup Diced apples (finely) I used green apples for their tartness
- 1/4 Cup Packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Butter
- 1.5 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp Cold Water
- 75 g Confectioners Sugar
- 25 g Ground Walnuts I ground my own in the food processor
- 50 g Ground Almonds
- 28 g Egg Whites Fresh whites are better than pasteurized
- 3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 28 g Egg Whites Fresh whites are better than pasteurized
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 2 g Cream of tartar
- Brown food Color tiny drop to tint shells (end of a toothpick)
- 75 g Granulated Sugar
- 20 g Water
- 4 oz Cream Cheese Soft
- 2 Tbsp Butter Soft
- 2.5-3 Cups Confectioners Sugar Sifted
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste
- Pinch Salt
Apple Pie Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
- Prepare your baking sheets ahead of time so they are ready as soon as you need them. Either using Macaron mats (find them here, they are AMAZING) or using parchment with traced circles (about 2" ... I just trace a round cutter) spaced about an 1" apart. You could also use silpat with template underneath (Click here for template)
- Add Almonds, Walnuts and Confections sugar to a food processor and blend until super fine.
- Pass through a sieve, into a clean dry bowl, to remove any large pieces.
- To bowl of dry ingredients add, spices and salt, mix together
- Add first lot of egg whites to the dry ingredients and mix until a thick paste is formed with no lumps.
- In small saucepan, add water and granulated sugar. Cook on medium-high heat to a temperature of 116 degrees F
- While sugar cooks, add second lot of egg whites and cream of tartar mixer and mix on medium until foamy.
- Add vanilla and turn up speed to medium high and whip until soft peeks form. At this point sugar should be almost to temperature.
- Once sugar reaches temp, remove from heat, reduce speed on mixer to medium and SLOWLY stream sugar into egg whites.
- Once all sugar has been added, stop mixer, scrape sides, add food color and mix on medium-high until stiff "dry" meringue is forms. Should clump inside whisk.
- Add half of the meringue to the almond/walnut paste and mix until a nice smooth batter forms.
- Add the remaining meringue to the nut mixture. GENTLY fold in this meringue until well mixed being careful NOT TO OVER MIX. mixture should "act like" molten lava. When you lift your spoon and let the mixture flow back into itself it should hold its shape but "melt" back into itself in about 20 seconds.
- Add mixture to piping bag with a open round tip. I do this half at a time to make it more manageable. Pipe your disks slightly smaller than your markings because they will spread slightly.
- Once completely piped bang pan on counter top 2-3 times rotate 180 degrees and bang another 2-3 times (this will release any trapped air in the shells and will help them bake better.
- Set pans aside to dry for 30 minutes. They are ready to bake when the disks are dry to the touch, not sticky or tacky.
- While drying preheat oven to 330F (NON Convection)
- Once dry and ready to bake. Place one pan at a time on middle rack and bake for 13-15 minutes, opening the oven door once, quickly, during the bake.
- Remove from oven when shell tops no longer slide when touched. Allow to cool before filling.
- While Macaron shells are drying. Peel and dice apples (very small pieces) remember these will be used as a filling in these small delicate cookies.
- To your saucepan (I just used the one from the sugar when I made my shells, why dirty another pot 🙂 ) add apples, brown sugar, spices, salt, lemon juice and butter.
- Cook on medium-low for 20-30 minutes until apples are tender and sugar becomes caramel like. stirring occasionally. If you find it is sticking to the pot or boiling too much reduce heat to a light simmer.
- When apples are tender, mix water and cornstarch together. Increase heat on the apple mixture until boiling, add cornstarch mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, place in a bowl and allow to cool completely.
- Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer until smooth.
- Add salt and vanilla, mix until blended.
- Add confectioners sugar and mix until smooth.
- Take half of the Macaron shells and pipe a ring/dam of cream cheese icing around the outer edge.
- Place apple pie filling into a piping bag. Pipe into the center of the cream cheese ring.
- Add top shell of macaron.
Things you may need
- Macaron Mat
- Sheet Tray
- Piping Bags
- Piping tip
*** RECIPE NOTES ***
... DO NOT STRESS if your first batch does not turn out. These cookies are one of the hardest to achieve and several factors can influence the batch. Weather plays a pretty significant role so be conscious of humidity and rain.
- If shells crack when baked, add an additional 10 minutes to the drying time on next attempt. (using a fan may help here)
- If you don't get "feet" (little bumpy edge along the bottom of the shell) increase oven temperature by 5-10 degrees.
- If shells spread to much when piped, you may have over mixed the batter
Macarons can be kept refrigerated in a n airtight container for 3-4 days.
Empty shells will last 7-10 days, or can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw in fridge.
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