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 :).