Rustic Pistachio Macarons

I recently took on a daunting kitchen endeavour – French Macarons. Having read that making these pretty little things involves a delicate process, I set my expectations low on my first try. It takes time to master the technique of macaron-making. Taste-wise, I was happy with the outcome. Appearance-wise, well, they turned out..rustic. Not that rustic is a bad thing but they were far from the perfect macarons I’ve had in Paris.

Things I Did Wrong
First, I didn’t grind the almonds long enough. The recipe also required sifting the ground almonds but because they weren’t fine enough to go through the sieve, I skipped this step. Hence, the grainy texture. I also over beat the egg whites and didn’t fold/blend the almond and egg whites to the right consistency. When I piped the batter onto the parchment paper, it didn’t spread thinly. The first 2 trays came out OK, albeit chunky. At least they had ‘feet’ and didn’t collapse.

What I Learned

  1. Resting the macarons at least 30 min prior to baking allows a skin to develop on the batter which prevents them from cracking. The first 2 trays that went in the oven were allowed to rest and they came out whole. The next 2 weren’t allowed to rest and they all collapsed! (See photo below)
  2. I need to get a kitchen scale. All macaron recipes I’ve seen are weight-based.
  3. Getting a bigger sieve and 2 more cookie sheets will make the process easier.
  4. I can make the filling at a later time. Even the next day. This way, I can concentrate on making the macaron shells and I’ll have more counter space for my cookie trays.

I’ve been reading up on various macaron-making tips and techniques. Here’s one of the most comprehensive troubleshooting guides around.