Peachy French Macarons
Were you looking for another mac recipe? I thought so! I introduce to you these lovely little gals filled with juicy peach compote. It's like savoring that last bite of summer and it tastes so sweet! Plus, you can't ever go wrong with some Georgia peaches. Right ladies? ;)
Throughout this post you will find:
1. The recipe for these cuties and how to color your macs.
2. How to fill fruit macs so they stick together and last.
3. How to watercolor paint on macarons.
First and foremost, if you have been following my work for a while then you know I'm kinda really into my french macarons over here. So much so, that recently I am now the editor of the macaron feed for The FEED FEED. ahhhhh! So exciting! Basically that means that I want your recipes too! Make sure to post and tag us (@thefeedfeed) so I can find you and share all your creations too!
With all that said, I have my tried and true french macaron recipe here and my guide for best eva macs here. You will need both for this recipe so go snatch them up for free and ask any questions you need. It's all broken down for you whether this is your first time making macarons or your 100th time (not saying that it's really ever that much easier haha).
OK, so for the shells of these peachy macs I used my regular almond shells and just colored them a peach color. Basically that means that I DID NOT flavor them. Honestly, I don't ever really flavor my shells. I have in the past and every once in a while I will (depending on flavor profiles) but seriously I don't think there is ever much a need for it. Macaron shells are heavenly little things all on their own and it's almost a crime to take that away. The fillings are where the different flavors come into play and to me it's always more than enough.
Let's talk colors! If you notice on my original mac recipe my shells are not colored. They are their natural white/cream color and that is on purpose. I wanted you to see what they look like plain. BUT! The funnest part of macs is that they can literally be a rainbow of colors and as whimsical as you want, right? So here's the scoop. You cannot use liquid food coloring to color macarons (you know like those regular liquid drops you get at your grocery store). Just don't do it. The reasoning here is you do not want to add any added moisture or liquid to your recipe and ruin the consistency. You could break the batter and they wont really turn out. You want to use gel colors or powder colors. You can find gel colors from Wilton brand or Americolor online or in stores like Michaels, Walmart, etc. in the baking aisles. They are not expensive and are guaranteed to work. Powder colors are different, I am still in the testing phase if you use natural food powders as they all have different properties and again ruin the consistency of the batter. I promise I will let you know when I get some to work and which ones. There are regular color powders out there that should be fine though as well.
To start, I would add the color during your meringue whipping process but once you get better at your macaronage then you can add it during that stage as well. The thing to remember here is that whatever color your batter is is what your macs will be after they bake. Macarons don't lose their color when baking like other baked goods can, just another perk.
Now, on to fillings. I made a peach compote to fill these with and did not break down or puree my fruit prior to cooking. You 100% can though if you want it to be smoother. It's honestly just a preference. Now, the main thing to remember here is that consistency is key when filling macs. You want it thick enough to hold together so your shells don't slip around but not gluey or gummy either. I simply cooked my peaches with some sugar on the stove slowly until they broke down and it was almost a jelly consistency. Then I let it cool completely.
I personally like to pipe a little ring of buttercream on the outside of my macs and then leave the center empty to place the fruit filling. This is the same process of when you fill a cake too. I have found that they do not slide around this way, don't get messy and keep a little longer. Again this is all just preference and I certainly don't do it every time. You can find my buttercream recipe here though and I colored mine peach to match using the same Wilton (peach) gel color I used on the shells.
After my macarons were assembled I hand painted watercolor peaches on them. Macarons are one of the few vessels in the baking world that you can accomplish this technique other than on fondant (not my favorite).
There are so many awesome baking paints out there now a days but the most simple ones are just using your (you guessed it) gel colors! Yep, you already have them so might as well. I'm all for saving money here. lol Now how do you get that watercolor affect you ask? Well, simple. Vodka! Use any small vessel you have, like spoons or medicine cups and pour a tiny bit of vodka in each one to make your paints. Why vodka? Well, because it dries super fast, leaves no taste behind and will not get your macs so wet that they crumble or break. You can use any paint brushes, just make sure they are clean. But they do sell baking paint brushes you can buy too. Add a tiny bit of gel color to your vodka and get to work. The rest is up to your creative imagination here. Just like art class but at the end you get to eat it! yes, and yes.
Store your macs covered in the fridge to preserve freshness and eat all fruit filled shells within a week. :)
Peachy French Macarons
PREP TIME: an hour
BAKE TIME: 8-12 minutes per sheet
MAKES: 42 macaron shells (piped out at 1 inch)
FOR THE SHELLS:
peach gel food coloring
FOR THE FILLING:
3 fresh peaches or 1 bag frozen peaches
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 batch vanilla bean buttercream (if desired) - You will only use 2 cups of frosting and you cant store the rest in air tight container in fridge up to a month
FOR THE WATERCOLOR:
Peach, Yellow and Green gel food colors
1. Prepare almond shells according to recipe.
2. Add peach gel food coloring to your batter until desired color is reached.
3. Pipe out shells and bake as instructed.
4. Prepare filling on stove top by adding peach slices to a small saucepan with white sugar. Allow to cook slowly until broken down. Stir throughout and remove once compote thickens to jelly like state. Allow to cool completely.
4. Prepare buttercream and set aside about 2 cups of it to color. Use your peach gel color and mix until you have reached desired color. Fit piping bag with small star tip and fill with your peach buttercream. If you are not using any buttercream for your shells then skip this part.
5. Once macarons are cooled, match them up and line them out on parchment paper or mats to make the filling process easy. Pipe out small circles with your buttercream leaving the center empty. Spoon a good dollop of your peach compote into the center of your macarons. Fit the top with matching shell and gently press down to secure.
6. Once all your shells are filled you can start painting! Find instructions above in the blog post for this.
7. Eat when desired!
Store all fruit filled macarons covered in fridge for up to a week.