Farewell summer (Macattack #17)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

See you sunshine.

Bye-bye Barbie (as in BBQ, not the improbably proportioned bit of plastic).

Cheerio cricket (the game, not the insect).

Ciao, cicada chorus.

So long sundress.

Ta-ta thongs (the footwear).

Be seeing you, beach days.

Goodbye good times. (Oh, I exaggerate I know).

So, summer’s gone and I will miss it.

But here’s one last hurrah - a macaron that pays homage to a classic summertime treat.  You’ve heard of the PineLime Splice? I offer you the PineLime Spice Macaron.

Jamie and Deeba, our wonderful MacTweets hosts invited us to incorporate both spice and fruit into our macarons, to herald the change of the seasons.

My inspiration came about thanks to abundant produce and a need for eggwhites. I’d seriously depleted my eggwhite stash, but had a freezer bag full of lime juice cubes, thanks to a special at the fruit and veg shop. When I picked up half a pineapple for next to nothing, I knew I had to make pineapple-lime curd.

I based this curd on my go-to lemon curd recipe, one that can be cooked directly on the stove and done in five minutes. Yep, you read that right! Five minutes (plus extra stirring time). It’s by Stephanie Alexander, and I found an online recipe for you here. In The Cook’s Companion, she explained that lemon curd cooked directly on medium-high heat (not slowly on the double boiler) would not curdle. This is due to  the high amount of sugar required to counteract the acidity in the lemon juice. The sugar stops the egg-proteins from forcing out liquid (which happens when regular custards are cooked too fast). Cool huh? (You can try here for a bit of further (quite geeky) reading about the properties of egg proteins, and what happens when you add sugar).

Since I was “messing about” with the recipe ratios, I actually placed the bowl over a saucepan of rapidly simmering water just in case. I turned the heat up quite high and luckily, my curd cooked up beautifully. I substituted the lemon juice with 75ml fresh pineapple juice plus enough lime juice to make up 1/2 cup. This is slightly more juice than in the original recipe but worked out well. I subbed lime rind for the lemon rind.

(The curd looks a bit "spongy" because it just came out of the fridge)

The resulting curd is gorgeous, all thick and tangy, and tastes predominantly of lime, but with a  definite hint of pineapple. Perfect for filling macaron shells spiced with ground ginger. (I used Tartelette’s macaron recipe and added about 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger to the ground almonds/icing sugar mix).

I’m glad I made the whole curd recipe rather than trying to halve it, because we’ve ended up with lots of leftover curd to spread on toast in the mornings.

There might be a nip in the air, but I can still taste summer :).


Hungry Dog said...

SOrry your summer is ending but these macarons must take away some of the sting--they are so pretty and I love anything pineapple!

Barbara said...

And here we are, welcoming summer!
Nice macaron, Shaz. Love the lime curd idea!

Lora said...

That curd sounds heavenly! I also love the design you painted on them. Beautiful!

dessert girl said...

When I first saw the words PineLime, I thought, huh? Pine tree flavored macarons? :-) Ha! This sounds much better!

Von said...

haha.... I can tell you're a huge fan of barbie dolls :P I love the pattern you've made on your macarons! :D And the curd sounds really good too! I love the combination of pineapple and lime :D

LadyMacaron20ten said...

lol pine tree macarons... pinelime sounds really yummy - I love your decorations.

Janine said...

mmmm it sounds really lovely - pineapples are one of my favorite fruits and it should be delicious in a curd form!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Oh I do dread the end of summer, lucky for me, here in the UK spring has started. Perhaps some of those delicious macs will chase away the winter gloom.
*kisses* HH

shaz said...

Enjoy your Spring days everyone. I actually do like Autumn a lot, so it's all still very good :)

grace said...

i almost feel bad for looking forward to our summer so much! :)

Fiona said...

Long live the PineLime Splice! I must have eaten thousands of those as a kid.

The pine-lime curd looks great - yesterday was our first sunny day with a hint of spring in it, and there was a lady outside the wet market with a trolley full of new season pineapples, so I think I'll have to make myself some!


Deeba PAB said...

Lady you are too cool. You had me at Pine-lime and I love what I see. What a great great idea...those macarons look drop dead gorgeous {good enough to lick off the screen!}. It's always wonderful to see what you bring to MacTweets...HUGS!!

Poires au Chocolat said...

Pine-lime is such a fab combo! I must try putting designs on top of the shells. Great job :)

hicookery said...

Enjoyed the artistic flair of lime green on your macaron shells. Very creative and delicious. Wonderful mac memories of summer.

shaz said...

Thanks again everyone. I should have explained how I put the designs on huh? Just take a little of the macaron batter, add colouring, then pipe onto the still wet shells. If you wait until the shells are drier, the design won't merge, and might crack when baked. (I speak from experience)