Friday, June 25, 2010

Paris meets Texas: Pecan Macarons with Peach Jam Filling

I love that the Alamo Drafthouse names dinner menu items after movie titles. I’m thinking about submitting an idea for a dessert with the condition that I get to be the exclusive supplier of the confection. How does Paris, Texas sound for pecan macarons with a peach jam filling? Think they’d go for it?

The first time I ever heard there was a city in Texas named Paris was when a co-worker back in Florida brought in the soundtrack for the movie Paris, Texas. Scotty was the defacto office DJ as he always had a pile of CDs sitting around. We’d all borrow selections when we needed some ambient noise to help us concentrate and the Ry Cooder soundtrack for the movie was an office favorite. I still haven’t seen Paris, Texas but the soundtrack is amazing and I’ve heard the movie is as well. Its been in my Netflix queue forever but hasn’t quite made it to the top.

While reminiscing about old times and pondering schilling my idea to the Alamo, I set about preparations for making macarons. I made my first batch of pecan and peach macarons last summer but was not pleased with the end result. The pecan macarons were too delicate and turned into a crumbly mess when I added the peach filling. I’ve since worked at tweaking the base macaron recipe I use and decided to resurrect the combo this year. For my first attempt, I bought a jar of peach butter for the filling but I decided to go crazy this time and make peach jam. So worth the extra effort but I do regret that I only made a small batch of jam which I used up on the macarons. 

Happily, the macarons turned out much better this go ‘round. I'll be munching on these delicious cookies as I'm plotting my pitch to the Alamo...

Pecan Macarons with Peach Jam Filling

As I’ve posted about previously, different nut varieties produce differing macaron results. The original macaron recipe that I posted works just fine with hazelnuts but the results are abysmal when using pistachios or pecans.  Through trial and error, I’ve hit upon the below ratio of nuts:confectioner sugar:egg whites that works well for pecan macarons. For the filling, I used Addie’s recipe for refrigerator peach jam. So that it would have a smoother consistency and spread more easily, I used an immersion blender to chop up the chunks of peach in the jam.

Cookies
200 g pecans
320 g powdered sugar
10 g egg whites
200 g egg whites (use half fresh and half aged- left to dry out approx. 24 hrs at room temp)
80 g sugar

Peach Jam from Relish Austin
1 lb peaches, pits removed
1/4 c sugar
1 ½ t lemon juice
water, if needed

1. Grind pecans with powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sift the ground mixture into a bowl and add 10 g egg whites. 
2. Make a meringue with 200 g egg whites and 80 g of sugar.  When egg whites and sugar are combined, turn the machine on high and whip for 10 minutes to dry out the meringue.
3. Fold, not too carefully, the meringue into the dry ingredients.  Keep folding over until the macaron batter is ribbon-like and spreads. Pipe out into rounds on parchment and allow to rest for approximately 1 hour to form a skin. *I pour the batter into a gallon sized ziploc bag and snip off the end to use in piping out the batter. Works like a charm. If you are using a pastry bag and tip, use a small gauge tip for piping.
4. Make the jam while the macarons are forming skins. Pit the peaches and slice. Put a small plate in the freezer for later (this step will be explained in #5). In a medium sauce pan, add the peach slices, sugar, and lemon juice and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has reduced to a jam-like consistency. If the mixture starts to look like it is drying out before the fruit has broken down, add water as needed, a tablespoon at a time.
5. To test the consistency of the jam, pull the plate from the freezer and put a dollop of jam on the chilled plate. Put the plate back in the freezer for a few minutes, and then test: if the jam mounds and wrinkles, it's done. If not, let it cook a while longer, then re-test the jam until it reaches the right consistency. When done, allow the jam to cool slightly in the sauce pan and pour into a sterilized jar. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
6. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Farenheit. Baking time will differ by oven but I usually bake for approximately 12 minutes until the tops are just slightly browned.
7. Allow cookies to cool and match up by size. Sandwich with peach jam.

7 comments:

  1. The Incredients for making recipes is very nice. The process is amazing. There are lots of Jam and Jelly Recipes in indianrecipes.co.in

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  2. @Ashkay Wow- you've got some good looking jam recipes on your site! Thanks for passing along. S.

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  3. Great stuff! The use of different grounded nuts for the cookie is really interesting - definitely need to try that out. Saw your post about CIA macarons class. How was that like? You when to Napa branch right? Was it much more "professional" than LCB?

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  4. Matt, I hope you're enjoying Intermediate Patisserie. As for the CIA, I was at the Napa campus so I can only speak for that program(the program/instructors in New York might be totally different). But I would say that LCB was much more "professional" than my CIA experience. I don't mean that badly- actually the CIA instructors were much more kind and took a more "hand-holding" approach with students. Also, at CIA staff and students ate communal meals every day so maybe the atmosphere just enhanced my impression. Let's just say the CIA's friendly, laid back style did not prepare me for LCB's rigor!

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  5. Ohhhhh...I wish I owned the Alamo so I could keep demanding additional samples to help me decide whether to add it to the menu! These look marvelous!

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  6. See, now this is what I love. Mixing cultures! Love your post! I retweeted it on my Twitter too :)

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  7. @Optimista I'm happy to trade samples for the skinny on good places to eat. I hope you'll be posting about Uchiko soon so I can live vicariously. I didn't make it in for the soft opening and now I'm sure they're booked til Christmas!

    @La Lola Thanks! I really enjoyed checking out your blog and I love, love, love the photos!

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