Midsummer Night Macarons
Midsummer nights mean twilight blue skies, twinkling stars and warm breezes. These Midsummer night blueberry macarons feature summer berries and are best eaten outside between firefly sightings. Use this Fuss Free French Macarons recipe if the humidity rises in your area like it does here in the upper midwest. Save my Jes Best French Macarons for winter when the weather is on your side.
Why I love these blueberry macarons
This No Fuss French Macarons recipe is the most reliable one I’ve used so far. I went toe to toe with macarons about a week ago and just about had a nervous breakdown. I refused to believe the rumors that French macarons are susceptible to humidity. Every reference to macarons in humid climates cited humidity as a culprit because it prevented the cookies from drying or “crusting” before baking. But my cookies were drying just fine and they were lifting up on beautiful feet in the oven. Disaster struck when I pulled them out to cool. Ploop. They’d fall. Flat. Time and time again. In my air conditioned kitchen. What gives?
A quick convo with a friend/chef had me slapping my hand against my forehead and repeating “duh, Italian meringue. I should have known.” We came to the conclusion that my Italian meringue was to blame for my fallen macarons. The intense humidity that week kept my meringue from remaining stable when baked. So simple. And so frustrating. But now I know, and I have a workaround. French (or “basic”) meringue is the ticket for macarons in high humidity. Now I can crank out batch after batch all year long. Dear Macarons, I win. *wink*
How to make midsummer night blueberry macarons
- Use high quality gel food coloring OR dry food colors to obtain a richly colored macaron. Too much liquid can affect the stability of your meringue and throw off the dry:wet balance of your batter. Macarons are especially susceptible to slight variations in texture.
- Sprinkle macarons with edible stars before baking. Drop the stars from a height so they float apart vs. landing in a clump.
- Add a handful of fresh berries to your blueberry buttercream for a blast of color and flavor!
Fuss Free French Macarons
Makes about 16 sandwich cookies
- 71 grams almond flour
- 117 grams confectioner's sugar
- 2 large free-range egg whites (roughly 71g), room temperature
- 53 grams granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350º (non-convection)
- Line 2 half sheet pans with Macaron Silpat® mats.
- Combine confectioner's sugar and almond flour and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside in a medium bowl. TIP: You may have about a Tablespoon of almond flour that won't go through. Discard it.
- TIP: Bring egg whites to room temperature by placing them (in a bowl) in a warm water bath. Use a kitchen thermometer to monitor their temperature. 65-72º is ideal.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine.
- Beat sugar and egg whites for 8 minutes. Starting on medium speed, increase the speed every 2 minutes until meringue holds stiff peaks. TIP: lift the whisk out of the bowl and check that the meringue peak stands tall and doesn't fall over when turned upright.
- Add flavoring and/or coloring to meringue and beat on high for 30 seconds to combine.
- Add meringue to dry ingredients. Fold with a spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula down and through the middle of the mixture. Fold until batter flows like lava off your spatula.
- Fit a pastry bag with Ateco #802 pastry tip.
- Using a spoon/spatula transfer batter to pastry bag.
- Holding the pastry bag perpendicular to the pan, pipe batter into a round stopping about 1/4" shy of the outline on the mat (batter will spread as it settles). Repeat until batter is gone.
- Tap each sheet 2-3 times on the counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake one sheet at a time about 10-12 minutes. Rotating the sheet half way through (this prevents brown spots and keeps the oven from getting too hot)
- Immediately (and carefully) lift Silpat mat off baking sheet and transfer it and the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Pipe or spread filling on flat side of one shell and sandwich with another shell. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, smashed [optional]
- Crush dried blueberries on a plate or in a ziploc bag, by applying pressure with the back of a spoon.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and crushed blueberries until well combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until pale and fluffy, about 2-6 minutes on medium-high speed.
- In 2-3 batches, add sugar/blueberry mixture to the butter, incorporating completely between each.
- Add vanilla.
- Add heavy cream 1 Tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Mix well on medium-high speed until buttercream is dense, but fluffy.
- If using, add fresh berries and blend until incorporated.