Strawberry Macarons

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: About 24 macarons
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Ingredients

For the Macarons:

3 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

3/4 cup whole blanched almonds

2 pinches of kosher salt

3 tablespoons superfine sugar

1/4 teaspoon strawberry extract

5 drops pink gel food coloring 

For the Filling:

1 1/2 cups chopped hulled strawberries

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Make the macarons: Let the egg whites sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats; set aside.
  2. Pulse the confectioners' sugar and almonds in a food processor until very finely ground. Working in batches, sift the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl. If you have more than 2 tablespoons of the mixture left in the sieve, return to the food processor and grind until powdery, then sift again. Repeat this process until only about 2 tablespoons are left in the sieve; discard.
  3. Rub a pinch of salt around a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer to absorb any oils, then wipe clean. Add the egg whites and another pinch of salt. Whisk with a mixer on medium speed until frothy, then gradually whisk in the superfine sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and whisk until very soft peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the strawberry extract and food coloring and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Fold about one-third of the almond mixture into the egg whites until combined, then fold in the rest. The batter should fall off the spatula in thick ribbons and look slightly shiny. If the batter seems stiff, fold once or twice more, being careful not to overmix. 
  4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the prepared baking sheets, squeeze the bag until the batter spreads to a 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch round, flicking your wrist to the side as you finish to avoid leaving a point. Repeat to make about 24 rounds per baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Firmly tap the baking sheets against the counter to release any air bubbles. Let sit at room temperature until the tops are slightly matte and no longer sticky, at least 45 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Make the filling: Bring the strawberries, honey and lemon juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and smashing the berries, until thick and jammy, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool. 
  6. Bake the macarons, one pan at a time, until they are risen and firm, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the pan, then carefully transfer to racks to cool completely. Sandwich a thin layer of the strawberry filling between the macarons.