If you saw yesterday's post, then you already know that I went a little key lime crazy this weekend. I found a huge bag of key limes at the grocery store, so I made this to-die-for key lime pie that uses several egg yolks. You know what that means right? Leftover egg whites aka MACARONS!! So since I still had key limes, I decided on these key lime pie macarons. Kyle was quite skeptical at first, but once he tried them he said, "wow these taste just like key lime pie! How did you do that??" So uh, they're pretty good.
The macaron shells are plain, but they're filled with a tangy key lime cream cheese frosting! To get that classic key lime flavor, I obviously used fresh key lime juice. But if you aren’t lucky enough to find fresh key limes at the store, bottled key lime juice works great! Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice* is fantastic and is sold at most grocery stores as well as amazon.
Macaron Tips & Tricks
Macarons can be tough so setting yourself up for success is key!
- Buy a kitchen scale* if you don’t already have one! Macarons are incredibly finicky, so weighing all your ingredients is super important!
- Clean the mixing bowl and whisk attachment of your stand mixer with white vinegar to make sure there are no trace fats on either (if you don’t, your meringue may not form).
- Invest in some silicone macaron mats*! They aren’t expensive and they will make your life so much easier!
- Also invest in an oven thermometer*! We want our oven as close to 300 degrees as possible to make perfect macarons but just because your oven says it's 300 degrees, doesn't mean it actually is. My oven tends to run hot, so I usually end up having it set to about 290.
- Always use gel food coloring*! Since macaron batter is so finicky, we don’t want to add any extra liquid to the batter. So gel food coloring is the way to go! The color is also even more concentrated so you need less.
- For the same reason as above, use vanilla bean paste* instead of vanilla extract!
If you make these key lime pie macarons, please leave us a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. Happy baking!
- 100 grams egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 90 grams granulated sugar
- 140 grams almond flour, sifted
- 120 grams powdered sugar, sifted
- green gel food coloring
Key Lime Filling
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon key lime juice
- pinch salt
- Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until they become foamy, then add in the cream of tartar.
- Turn the mixer up to medium-high and gradually add in the granulated sugar (make sure to add the sugar in very slowly so that the meringue doesn’t deflate).
- Once all the sugar is added, turn the mixer to the highest setting and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the 1-2 drops of green gel food coloring and continue to whisk on high until stiff peaks form.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in half of the dry ingredient mixture until fully combined. Then gently fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Continue to gently fold the batter until it reaches a “flowing lava” consistency. You should be able to make a “figure 8” with the batter before it breaks. As soon as you reach this consistency, stop mixing! If you over-mix the batter, the macarons won’t rise properly in the oven.
- Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Scoop batter into a large piping bag fitted with a round tip. Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the silicone mat and pipe 1 inch rounds.
- Pick up the baking sheet and drop it onto the counter 3-4 times to help bring any air bubbles to the surface of the macarons. Then use a toothpick to pop any visible air bubbles to make a smooth surface.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until a skin forms on the surface. You should be able to lightly touch the surface without any batter being disturbed.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Bake one sheet at a time on the center rack of the oven for 15-17 minutes or when they do not move on their “feet” when touched.
- Let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet before removing them. They should easily peel off when fully cooled.
Key Lime Filling
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time until fully combined.
- Add in the key lime juice and salt and mix until smooth.
- Match up your shells before piping, and then turn one side over. Fill the center with key lime filling, leaving a bit of room around the sides.
- Top each macaron and then garnish with lime zest if desired.
- Put the assembled macarons in an airtight container, then place them in the fridge for mature for 12-24 hours before eating for the best taste/texture. Or just eat them all immediately. You do you.
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