Mastering the Art of Making Cherry Macarons

If you’ve ever tried to make a macaron, then you know how delicate the process can be to get the perfect result. These delightful French pastries are known for their light, airy texture and the perfect balance of crispiness and chewiness. For this month, Sarah, our Tree to Table host and the blogger behind the Friendly City Foodie, is showcasing a proven recipe so that you can enjoy some cherry macarons of your own.


Sweet vs Sour

When considering what cherries to use for your buttercream filling, we recommend incorporating sour cherries. The tangy flavor of sour cherries helps balance out the buttercream’s innate sweetness, creating a more complex taste. They are also softer than sweet cherries, which makes them perfect for breaking down and mixing into the other ingredients for the baked treat. 



Victory Tastes So Good

If you enjoy baking and are looking for a challenge, this recipe is perfect for you. When following the instructions, it's crucial to be precise with measurements and timing, and to ensure everything stays completely dry. Even a small amount of water can interfere with meringue formation, make the batter too runny, cause the macarons to crack, and affect their texture and appearance. Macarons are notoriously difficult and may take a few tries to perfect, but don't get discouraged! There are plenty of cherries for all your attempts, and you'll likely enjoy some delicious mistakes along the way.

Pro Tip: Macarons pair extremely well with tea and coffee. The sweetness of the macarons compliment the flavors in both of the drinks. Though, you could just scarf down the macarons by themselves as well!



Macaron Ingredients:

  • 300g egg whites
  • 270g granulated sugar
  • 420g almond flour
  • 390g powdered sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Red gel food coloring


Making Your Macaron Shells:

  1. Weigh out all ingredients and mise en place before you begin.
  2. Keeping everything dry is crucial when making macarons. Even a small amount of water can interfere with meringue formation, make the batter too runny, cause the macarons to crack, and affect their texture and appearance. Ensure everything is completely dry each step of the way.
  3. Add egg whites to stand mixer bowl along with cream of tartar. Whisk on high until the peaks form a bundt-cake-like shape and the mixture begins to separate from the bowl (about 2 minutes).
  4. While still whisking on high, add granulated sugar to the egg white mixture in five separate portions, counting to three between each addition.
  5. Set timer for 2 minutes and continue to whisk on high.
  6. At 1:30, add 1-2 drops of gel food coloring (do not use water-based food coloring).
  7. When the timer goes off, turn off the mixer. You know the meringue is done when peaks are stiff and separated, and the mixture forms a ball around the whisk. When you remove the whisk, the meringue should stand straight up. It’s important not to overmix the meringue.
  8. Whisk almond flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl until there are no lumps. Add this mixture all at once to the meringue.
  9. Turn the mixer on to 1, and count to 2.
  10. Turn the mixer on to 2, and count to 2.
  11. Turn the mixer on high, count to 3. At this point, the mixture is only partially blended.
  12. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl; work the batter with a spatula.
    1. Use a spatula to fold the mixture gently, scooping it from the bottom of the bowl and folding it over the top.
  13. Continue folding, scraping down the sides as needed, until the batter reaches a lava-like consistency. It should flow off the spatula in a ribbon. The batter is ready when you can lift a large amount of batter and make a figure 8 with the ribbon of batter.
  14. Be careful not to overmix. It's better to under mix slightly and have a few lumps than to overmix and have a runny batter.
  15. Put batter in a piping bag with a tip and pipe onto baking sheets into 1-1.5 inch circles, keeping tip 1 cm away from tray at a 90-degree angle. Each macaron shell should be piped out 3 inches from the center of its neighbor.
  16. Once all piped, slam trays 5-6 times on the counter.
    1. This removes air bubbles from the piped batter. When you pipe the macarons, air can get trapped in the batter, which can lead to hollow or cracked shells.
  17. Let the piped shells rest for about 1 hour until skin is formed. They should have a matte appearance. When you press on the top of a shell, it should bounce back without cracking or transferring onto your finger.
  18. Bake for 23 minutes at 245 degrees.
  19. Let cool.
  20. Match shells and fill with buttercream.



    Cherry Buttercream Ingredients:

    • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened (1 cup)
    • 2 cups cherries
    • 3 cups of powdered sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Heavy cream


    Whipping Up the Cherry Buttercream:

    1. If using fresh cherries, rinse, de-stem, halve, and pit them.
    2. If using last season’s frozen cherries, defrost for about an hour on the counter.
    3. Purée the cherries with a blender or food processor for about 45 seconds. You want the skin of the cherries to be as incorporated as possible.
    4. In a small saucepan, bring the purée to a boil, then reduce the purée over medium heat, stirring frequently until it is a few tablespoons thick and jammy (about 15 minutes).
    5. Remove from heat and let cool.
    6. Whip the butter and half of the powdered sugar together for 5 minutes in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
    7. Add half of the cherry reduction and mix until just blended.
    8. Add the remaining half of the powdered sugar and mix.
    9. Finally, add your salt and remaining reduction, and mix to combine.

    If the mixture is too thick, add heavy cream bit by bit until the desired texture is reached.



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