My first attempt at macarons went pretty well, and I had been excited to try them again ever since. So when a professor who works in France came to visit our department, you know what I made. But I didn’t go with French flavors. Instead, I
- swapped out the almond meal for pistachio meal (you can’t find that in stores, I just threw some pistachios in my magic bullet),
- added a scant Tbsp rose water to the egg whites before beating them (remember, you can add some water-based liquid to your egg whites without hurting the meringue),
- and filled them with honey jam (like I did with my May Flowers Macarons).
- Besides these changes, I followed the exact same recipe as last time – Not So Humble Pie’s recipe – and I had the same weak point as last time – air pockets in the macarons. But I don’t really mind them. As soon as you bite it’s all the same anyway.
These are common flavors in Middle Eastern cuisine, so I told my friends they were Middle Eastern flavored. One person replied “I don’t think I know what the Middle East tastes like,” but when she tried one she said “These are Middle Eastern flavored!”
And it turns out, the Middle East tastes good. This is one of those rare dishes that I plan to make again without needing someone to specially request it. I’ll probably try a honey buttercream instead of honey jam next time (honey jam is so sweet and sticky) but the combination of flavors with the texture of the macarons was heavenly.
A tale of warning: I wanted to make these again for some especially helpful professors as a holiday gift, but I made two different batches using defrosted frozen egg whites, which normally work fine in meringues, and they just were not right. The first batch was too sticky, and the second batch never dried on the top, so neither came out very macaron-like. They tasted good, but I think they taste better in macaron form. So it looks like you should use never-frozen whites for your macarons.