Pumpkin Spice Macarons

Active Prep Time: 60 Minutes
Total Time: 7 Hours
Yield: 24 Macarons

Ingredients

ComponentIngredientQuantity
Pumpkin GanacheWhite baker's chocolate6oz
Pumpkin GanacheUnsalted butter1oz
Pumpkin GanacheCorn syrup1 tbsp
Pumpkin GanacheCold heavy cream1.5oz
Pumpkin GanachePumpkin puree2.5oz (1 pie pumpkin, cooked)
Pumpkin GanachePumpkin pie seasoningTo taste
Macaron ShellPowdered sugar205g
Macaron ShellAlmond flour190g
Macaron ShellEgg whites, room temperature144g, split into 2 equal portions
Macaron ShellGranulated sugar190g
Macaron ShellWater60mL
Macaron ShellOrange food dye

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • Food processor
  • Immersion blender with blending jar
  • Small sauce pan
  • Baking sheets
  • Aluminum foil, parchment paper
  • Chinois, or other fine-meshed strainer
  • Candy thermometer
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Piping bag with 0.5" round tip

Baking

NOTE: I recommend preparing the ganache a day in advance. Most of the not-active prep time comes from just waiting for it to set (about 5 hours).
  • Prepare the pumpkin puree:
    • Halve the pie pumpkin and remove the seeds.
    • Bake, face-down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes at 350°F, until meat is tender.
    • Using a spoon, separate the meat from the skin and place the pumpkin meat into the blending jar.
    • Using the immersion blender, pulse until the pumpkin puree achieves a smooth consistency.
    • Optionally pass the puree through a chinois or other fine-meshed strainer one or more times to remove any lingering fibers.[1]
    • Add pumpkin pie seasoning (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves) to taste.
    • Set aside, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • Prepare the ganache:
    • Bring water to a simmer in the medium saucepan.
    • Place the medium mixing bowl on top of the saucepan and add the butter and white chocolate.
    • Stir until melted.
    • Add the corn syrup to the mixture.
    • Transfer to the blending jar. While pulsing the immersion blender, slowly add the cold heavy cream.
    • Continue blending until you achieve a smooth, even consistency.
    • Blend in the pumpkin puree.[2]
    • Refrigerate at least 5 hours in an airtight container to allow mixture to set.
    • Transfer ganache to stand mixer with whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until whipped.
    • Ganache may be refrigerated for several days in an airtight container.
  • Prepare the macaron batter:
    • In the bowl of the food processor, combine the powdered sugar, and almond flour.
    • Pulse about a dozen times to evenly mix.
    • Sift the mixture into the medium mixing bowl, discarding any larger solids that are caught in the sieve.
    • Add the egg whites (NOTE: only add half of the whites, about 72g — the rest is reserved for the meringue) to the mixing bowl.
    • Add the orange food dye. You don't need much, but it's okay if the color is stronger than you expect: it will dilute out once we combine the paste with the meringue.
    • Stir until the mixture forms a paste.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • Prepare the meringue:
    • Add the remaining 72g egg whites to the stand mixer with whisk attachment and begin whipping to start the meringue.[3]
    • While the egg whites whip, combine the granulated sugar and the water in the medium saucepan and bring to 118°C or about 240°F (soft ball stage).[4]
    • Once the sugar is to temperature, remove it from the heat and slowly pour into the bowl of the stand mixer, allowing it to incorporate fully into the meringue.
    • Let the meringue continue to whip for about 5 minutes, until it has returned to room temperature.
  • Fold meringue into paste:
    • Add a small amount (a generous spatula-full) of the meringue to the paste and stir until the paste loosens up and becomes pliable enough to fold.
    • Add the remainder of the meringue to the paste and fold together to incorporate.[5] It's important to use good technique here so that you don't lose all of the air that you just whipped into the meringue!
    • The batter will fall off of your spatula and form ribbons in the bowl when the components are fully mixed. Be careful not to overmix beyond this point.
  • Pipe the shells:
    • Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Optionally, in advance you can stencil 1.5" diameter circles, about 1" apart, onto the parchment paper to use as a guide when piping. This helps maintain consistent size of the shells.
    • Holding the piping bag straight up and down above the parchment paper, pipe batter to completely fill each of the stencilled circles.
    • Once all shells have been piped out, remove any trapped air bubbles in the batter by lightly tapping the baking sheet on your counter several times. This will help to prevent the shells from cracking during baking.
    • Let the shells sit for approx. 30 minutes, or until they are sticky and slightly dry to the touch. This is important in order for the shells to achieve their characteristic 'feet'.
    • Bake for approx. 15 minutes at 325°F.
    • Let the shells cool to room temperature.
  • Add ganache:
    • Transfer the whipped ganache into a piping bag with a 0.5" round tip.
    • Flip every other shell upside down and pipe ganache onto the flat surface.
    • Place the remaining shells on top of the ganache.
    • Eat immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to several days.

Notes

[1] — This might be overkill, but I originally wasn't sure if I wanted to use the pumpkin puree to flavor the ganache or the shells, and erred on the side of "Oh god, I don't want anything to ruin the texture of the shells."
[2] — You can add some of the orange food dye at this stage if your ganache is paler than you would like. Depending on the exact ratio of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to white chocolate, it can come out a bit pale otherwise.
[3] — Letting the egg whites come to room temperate can help a little here by allowing the proteins in the whites to start to denature: when proteins are exposed to heat, they uncoil into long strands that can help to give more structural support to our meringue. Most of this will happen when we add the soft ball sugar, but this can still help set up the meringue.
[4] — If you're worried about over-heating the sugar, you can always add a pinch of cream of tartar when you combine the sugar with the meringue. Not only will this help stiffen your meringue, but it will also prevent the sugar from crystallizing into a hard, crunchy mess. This will still probably not save you if you let the sugar go into the hard ball to soft crack stages or beyond, but in less extreme cases it'll still probably help.
[5] — If you're worried about your technique, you'll be safe if you just run your spatula around the outside edge of the mixture, keeping it right up against the wall of the mixing bowl. Every once in a while bring the spatula straight through your mixture (from 12 to 6, basically) and then continue to work around the edges.

Written by chris on Dec 5 2019, 8:44 PM.
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