Make some Orange Macarons this Christmas

Orange Macarons

These are quick to make but it pays to be completely prepared, with all the ingredients measured and ready. Makes 15.

What you’ll need

100g ground almonds

100g icing sugar

60g room-temperature egg whites (2 eggs)

¼ tsp cream of tartar

A few drops of orange food colouring

50g caster sugar

For the filling

90g unsalted butter, softened

45g icing sugar

A few drops of orange extract

A few drops of orange food colouring

1 heaped tbsp candied Seville orange peel, chopped

Make the Mixture

Have ready a specialist macaron sheet, or a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Mark out 30 circles, 4cm in diameter, leaving space between each. You can do this by pencilling around the base of a herb jar or similar.

Briefly whizz the ground almonds with the icing sugar in a food processor, then sift them into a large mixing bowl; don’t force large pieces through the sieve and don’t replace the wasted almonds, as the sifting process gives the right ratio.

Clean a separate bowl with a splash of vinegar and some kitchen paper. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar and food colouring then slowly add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until the whites are stiff and glossy, and you can invert the bowl and the mixture doesn’t fall out.

Get That Macaron Shape

Fold in the almond mixture using a spatula. Taking special care, stir and fold to remove the large air bubbles, until the meringue is soft and ribbon-like, and streams slowly off the spatula.

Put a 1cm plain piping nozzle onto a piping bag and fold back the open end of the bag so that you can easily spoon in half of the mixture (standing the bag in a tall glass helps). Pipe small rounds of the mixture to fit into the marked out circles, holding the bag perpendicular and squeezing from the centre of each circle. Repeat with the remaining half of the mixture.

Let’s Get Baking

Tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to break air bubbles and settle the mixture, then leave to rest for 30–40 minutes. The surface should form a slight skin; opening the window helps. Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/Gas 1 and check with a thermometer that your oven temperature is accurate.

Bake the macarons for about 16 minutes, opening the door briefly halfway through to release steam. The macarons should be firm, slightly domed and have a ridged ring, or ‘foot’ around the base, like a small hovercraft. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheet, then slide onto a wire rack.

Fill ‘em up

To make the filling, cream the butter with the icing sugar and add the orange extract and orange colouring a drop at a time until you reach the desired colour. Stir in the candied peel. Pipe the filling onto half of the macarons, put the other half on top and twist lightly to make a sandwich. (Piping might seem unnecessary but if you try and spoon it on they may break.) Refrigerate. The macarons will taste better on the second day and will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

If you’re an orange lover like us, make sure to check out the other recipes and fun stories in Lucy Deedes’s book The Little Book of Marmalade. You can buy it from your local independent, hive, bookshop.org, Waterstones, or Amazon.

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