There is a noticeable absence of posts on my blog as of late. For the past 3 weeks or so, my family and I have been in transition between Canada and the United States. Anyone who has moved can attest, anyone who has moved across borders can sympathize, and anyone who has done that with small children should thank their lucky stars for not having to go through that yet one more time. It is beyond stressful, but we make life-changing decisions such as these in hopes that it will somehow benefit the future of our family.
As is the story of Claudia. Born and raised in Argentina, she met her husband Massimiliano about ten years ago. They fell in love, got married and had two beautiful children.
At a certain point in their journey, they decided that they would move to Italy, a place where Massimiliano had done most of his growing up. Like anyone could imagine, moving across an ocean isn’t the easiest of tasks. However, we do what we do for what we think will be best for our children, for the future of the family, as we have done with ours.
Claudia and Massimiliano and their children now live just across the way from my in-laws in Lago Maggiore in north Italy. Massimiliano having been childhood friends with my husband Massimo, it was only natural that a friendship would be born between Claudia and I.
We have just concluded a two week visit to Italy where we celebrated the marriage of our dear friends and spent time visiting friends and family. I had the opportunity to skip on over to Claudia’s home to witness her making Macarons.
Often called “macaroons“, the original name is French and actually called Macarons. But as the recipe made its way to the U.K., the name slowly began to evolve, and that’s how we now have the name Macaroons. As Claudia explained to me, her first attempt at making them was not the easiest of tasks. However, the recipe is certainly simplified with each time it is prepared.
A native English speaker trying to understand a native Spanish speaker explain a recipe in Italian proved to be a more challenging task😂.
There are many variations of the recipe for Macarons, but I give you Claudia’s personal preference, Macarons with lemon cream filling.
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cup milk
1 lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1.4 oz corn starch
1. Sift confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a large bowl.
2. Beat egg whites until frothy and then gradually add the superfine sugar to it and continue to beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.
3. Transfer the beaten egg whites to bowl with the almond flour mixture and with a rubber spatula, fold the mixture until fully incorporated. This process is called macaronage.
4. Add the food coloring and continue to fold mixture.
5. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch round tip.
6. Pipe 1 1/4 inch circles onto a silicone mat, place on baking sheet.
7. Gently tap baking sheet in order to release any air bubbles.
8. Preheat oven at 300 degrees.
9. Let the cookies sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
10. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies rise to 1/8 thickness.
Lemon Cream Filling
1. Heat milk over low heat and add lemon peel.
2. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and sugar and slowly add egg yolks.
3. Once milk is hot, remove lemon peel.
4. Whisk in milk with other mixture and then heat again, mixing constantly.
5. Remove from heat, let cool and add lemon juice.
6. Put cream in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to touch the cream, so as not to allow a crust to form.