Apples are finally in season and so is pie season! Always pies are made all year around, they are especially popular during the fall and winter seasons, in lieu with the holidays that fall in the same time frame! I love love a good salted caramel apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! It is just bliss! My favorite recipe is from Four and Twenty Black Birds Pie book, and the pie turns out absolutely delicious! Bonus – there is extra caramel sauce always, and I love using it for various different purposes!
I have been itching to make macarons, its been quite a while. I find the process of making macarons extremely fun. The smooth silky flowing batter, the pipping of the macarons, making sure they are perfectly round on the template, resting period, then baking them for the exact time every time, to ensure that the shells form perfectly, with a lovely crust and FEET! The feet are so important, to make sure that the bottom of the macaron shell is smooth. The texture should be chewy inside, and crunchy on the outside. The anticipation of this step by step process is so fun. And once you finish pipping the frosting, and you see the final product, it is extremely rewarding!
I saw freeze dried apples at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago, and I immediately thought of making Apple Pie Macarons with a Bourbon Salted Caramel Buttercream frosting in the middle. So what if there is no apple pie at the moment, we can celebrate fall with an apple pie macaron! I used the freeze dried apples, along with the nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise powder in the batter. I used caramel sauce to make the buttercream frosting, along with a splash of bourbon to add a slightly boozy effect!
The macarons by itself were looking bland since there was no natural color, so I decided to paint them with a brush, to give a red brush stroke on top of the macaron shell. I loved the effect and was happy that they looked pretty! I was thrilled with the results after a taste test! They were perfectly crunchy, chewy, with the quintessential fall flavorings from the spices, and the slight boozy sweet caramel notes from the buttercream frosting. It is like a spoonful of apple pie in your mouth!
I have provided lots of macaron tips after the recipe, cause macaron making can be intimidating. Once you practice it a couple times and follow the tips below, you can make the best looking macarons and impress your family and friends!
If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to tag me #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on the blog post.
- 7 ounces confectioners sugar, divided
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup freeze dried apples from Trader Joes(powdered in a coffee grinder)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 star anise powder
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) fresh unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoon maldon flakes
- 3 tbsp bourbon(good quality)
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
- pinch of kosher salt
- 4 tbsp Bourbon Salted Caramel
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups confectioners sugar ( the buttercream should not be runny, it should be firm, but pipeable at the same time)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, if using double-baking sheet cooking method, or pre-heat oven to 325 degrees if using single baking sheet cooking method. Line baking sheets with silicone mats and top with the parchment paper templates.
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse one-third of the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour, freeze dried apple powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining confectioners sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture four times onto a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.
- To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrap down the sides of the bowl, add vanilla extract and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form.
- To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated check for the correct consistency, the batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip slowly from the spatula.
- Transfer the battery to a pastry bag filled with a 1/2 inch plain round tip(#12), and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Top each macaron with a pinch of funfetti, do not overcrowd it! Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.
- If using the double baking sheet cooking method, place an empty baking sheet underneath the baking sheet with the piped macarons.
- Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
- For the salted caramel:
- (Make sure to keep an eye on the caramel the entire time it is being cooked, else you can easily burn it)
- Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper.
- Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream - the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam - be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
- Whisk the final mixture together well over low heat and sprinkle in the sea salt and bourbon. Let it cool. You can store the caramel in a glass jar in the fridge upto a month.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar, bourbon salted caramel and vanilla to a whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 3 minutes.Use a pastry bag to pipe the macaron shells, one at a time, and top with another macaron shell gently.
1) Make sure that you whip the meringue thoroughly. The best way to check after 10 minutes of whipping is to remove the whisk, stir the meringue vigorously and turn it upside down. The merigue should stay stiff like a peak.
2) Make sure that you fold the almond mixture and it is well incorporated with the meringue and the end mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula with ease.
3) When using the pastry bag to pipe the macarons, hold it absolutely vertical, and center to the holes on the template and slightly above it, and not touching the paper to pipe it. You need to squeeze just a tad bit to release the batter onto the parchment paper.
4) Make sure that you tap the tray atleast 3 times to release any air bubbles in the macaron shell.
5) You HAVE to let the macarons rest for atleast 30 minutes to form a nice shell.
6) It is very important to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure that the macarons are baked evenly.
7) DO NOT remove the shells off the parchment paper as soon as the tray comes out of the oven, else you will break the shell. Wait for 2-3 minutes atleast for it to cool down.
8) You can keep the shells covered and do the frosting the next day as well. The shells will keep for a couple of days.
9) IF you have tips on the shells due to the pipping, you can take a dab of water on your finger and gently press the tip down to smoothen out the shell.