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Lemon Macarons

Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons with a Lemon Curd Filling

Macarons are one of my all-time FAVORITE cookies.  The first time I tried one was in New York City at Bouchon Bakery.  I took a bite of one of their lemon macarons and my mouth was filled with the most incredible sensations: lightly crisp shell with soft and chewy interior; smooth and rich buttercream with a center of tart lemon curd.  I had never tried anything like a macaron before and from that moment on, my entire world changed.  

Due to my obsession with macarons, I’ve decided to dedicate the first Monday of every month to macarons.  I will be calling the series, “Macaron Monday.”  

Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons with a Lemon Curd Filling

My Lemon Macaron recipe is the first in this series1.  These sandwich cookies are pretty much perfect, and I LOVE their flavor.  Continue reading below for foolproof instructions to make your own homemade Lemon Macarons.  

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Macaron Shells
Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons - Ingredients
Buttercream Filling
Lemon Buttercream
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (250g) of my Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe
  • 3 Tbsp – ⅓ cup (50-75g) of Lemon Curd (to taste) – see ingredients below
Lemon Curd Filling
Lemon Curd - Ingredients
  • ¾ sheet (1.8g) silver leaf gelatin 
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp (108g) eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tsp (108g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp (108g) freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
  • 10 Tbsp (140g) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp (4.5g) grated lemon zest 
Equipment 
Making Lemon Curd 
Lemon Curd - Ingredients

Place the gelatin sheet in cold water to soften it.  Avoid using hot water because it can make the outside of the gelatin swell too quickly while the inside does not fully hydrate.  

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Slowly whisk in the lemon juice.  Put the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer. 

Lemon Curd - Ingredients

Continue simmering for 3-5 minutes until thickened.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk for a few minutes to release the steam and cool the curd slightly.  

Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and then whisk the gelatin into the curd until the gelatin has completely dissolved.  

Straining Lemon Curd

Pour the curd through the strainer into the blender.  The strainer will catch any pieces of cooked egg (i.e., the white pieces in the picture above).

Lemon Curd

Turn the blender on low and blend for a few seconds.  Add 2-3 pieces of room temperature butter into the blender at a time until the butter is fully incorporated.   

Add the lemon zest and blend until combined.

Transfer the lemon curd to an airtight container and allow to cool to room temperature with the lid off.  Once cooled, cover the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap.  Make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the curd so a skin does not form.  Put the lemon curd in the fridge to cool completely.  

Lemon Curd

This recipe will make approximately 1¾ cups (400g) of lemon curd. The lemon curd2 will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.   

Making Lemon Buttercream 

Combine the Italian Meringue Buttercream with 3 Tbsp – ⅓ cup (50-75g) of Lemon Curd (to taste).  Mix until completely combined.  Avoid adding more than 75g because the buttercream will have a higher likelihood of curdling.

Filling the Lemon Macarons 
Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons

Place ¼ cup (80g) of lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a #3 piping tip3.  

Place the lemon buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a #12 piping tip3.  

Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons

Flip half of the macaron shells upside down and pipe a ring of buttercream around the outside of the macaron (i.e., on the flat part of the cookie). 

Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons with a Lemon Curd Filling

Fill the center of the buttercream ring with lemon curd. 

Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons with a Lemon Curd Filling

Place the other half of the cookie on the filling and gently press to push the filling to the edge of the cookie.  

These cookies are addicting!  The shells are sweet and the filling is rich and tart.  These are good the day they are made, but they are best after sitting in the freezer for 24 hours.  Wrap the cookies in plastic wrap and freeze.  To eat them, bring them to room temperature with the plastic wrap still on.  This will keep the condensation from making the cookie soft.  

Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons with a Lemon Curd Filling

Check out my Italian Meringue Macaron recipe for all of my tips and tricks to make the perfect macaron. 

Lemon Macarons

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 macarons

Equipment

  • Zester
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Blender
  • Piping bags
  • Piping tips (#3 and #12 Wilton tips)
  • Couplers

Ingredients

Macaron Shells

Buttercream Filling

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (250g) of my Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe
  • 3 Tbsp – ⅓ cup (50-75g) of Lemon Curd (to taste) – see ingredients below

Lemon Curd Filling

  • ¾ sheet (1.8g) silver leaf gelatin
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp (108g) eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tsp (108g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp (108g) freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
  • 10 Tbsp (140g) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp (4.5g) grated lemon zest 

Instructions

Making Lemon Curd

  • Place the gelatin sheet in cold water to soften.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Slowly whisk in the lemon juice.  Put the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer.  Continue simmering for 3-5 minutes until thickened. 
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk for a few minutes to release the steam and cool the curd slightly.  Then, squeeze the water out of the gelatin and then whisk the gelatin into the curd until the gelatin has completely dissolved.  
  • Pour the curd through the strainer into the blender.  Turn the blender on low and blend for a few seconds.  Add 2-3 pieces of room temperature butter into the blender at a time until the butter is fully incorporated.   
  • Add the lemon zest and blend until combined.
  • Transfer the lemon curd to an airtight container and allow to cool to room temperature with the lid off.  Once cooled, cover the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap.  Make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the curd so a skin does not form.  Put the lemon curd in the fridge to cool completely.  
  • This recipe makes approximately 1¾ cups (400g) of lemon curd. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.   

Making Lemon Buttercream

  • Combine the Italian Meringue Buttercream with 3 Tbsp – ⅓ cup (50-75g) of Lemon Curd (to taste).  Mix until completely combined.  Avoid adding more than 75g because the buttercream will have a higher likelihood of curdling.

Filling the Lemon Macarons

  • Place ¼ cup (80g) of lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a #3 piping tip.  
  • Place the lemon buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a #12 piping tip.  
  • Flip half of the macaron shells upside down and pipe a ring of buttercream around the outside of the macaron (i.e., on the flat part of the cookie).  Fill the center of the buttercream ring with lemon curd. 
  • Place the other half of the cookie on the filling and gently press to push the filling to the edge of the cookie.  
  • These are good the day they are made, but they are best after sitting in the freezer for 24 hours.  Wrap the cookies in plastic wrap and freeze.  To eat them, bring them to room temperature with the plastic wrap still on.  This will keep the condensation from making the cookie soft.  
Lemon Italian Meringue Macarons with a Lemon Curd Filling
Notes
  1. You might want to add a few more drops for a deeper yellow color.  The color always fades a little when the meringue is folded into the flour mixture.  To get vibrant colored cookies, it is best to add powdered food coloring, which doesn’t change the moisture content of the cookies. 
  2. You can buy lemon curd from the grocery store, but homemade tastes amazing and it doesn’t have any extra ingredients.  (Back to “Making Lemon Curd” section)
  3. If you don’t have piping tips, you can just cut the tip off of the piping bag before piping.  (Back to “Filling Lemon Macarons” section)
  4. This recipe was adapted from the “Lemon Macarons” recipe in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. 

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