Monday, September 5, 2011

Macarons (+ a contest)

UPDATE: Winner of this contest (chosen by a random number generator) is...KiaraLin.
Congratulations -- and please contact us via the email info. on our Blogger profile within the next 3 days in order to send your address and claim your prize. Thanks to all who participated!

In honor of the two exhibits making up A Very Impressionistic Summer at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Dixon Gallery & Gardens here in Memphis, we attempted the impossible: macarons. It is clear why well-made ones are so prized because this was not a simple task, and next time, our macarons will just have to (magically?) rise higher. Not bad for our first try, I suppose. However, this recipe gave us a good start, and we kept the macarons simply flavored with vanilla and filled with strawberries or pistachios.

CONTEST THIS WEEK: Memphians and those living close by, here's your chance to win museum tickets -- and a meal, too. Leave a comment on this post in response to the following question:

What's your favorite meat-free French dish or recipe? 

There are prizes for one commenter: a pair of tickets to each exhibition and now also a $50 gift certificate to The Brushmark Restaurant, located inside the Brooks Museum. The winner's name will be drawn randomly by Thursday night, and at that point, we will announce the winner and arrange to mail the prizes. Both shows run through October 9, and if you haven't stopped by to see them, they are absolutely stunning. Go!

Macaron Fillings:

Strawberry-Balsamic Jam

1 1/2 cups strawberries (diced)
1/4 cup cane sugar
juice from half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat stovetop to medium. Stir often and cook for 20-30 minutes until cooked down to the consistently of jam. Set aside to cool. Add vinegar and stir.


Pistachio Buttercream

1/4 cup pistachios
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup confectioner's sugar
pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in the food processor and chill for at least an hour before using.

(Pistache Pastry's macarons were our first introduction to the pastry, and they are well worth trying. Check out all the wonderful flavors...)

19 comments:

Merry Beth said...

These look amazing! But there isn't anything you do that's not stunning. My favorite veggie/French dish is a bean cassoulet with roasted veggies. Yum.

Karen B. Golightly said...

Croissants: chocolate, almond, plain and lovely. Is there any other French dish?

KiaraLin said...

mushroom and onion and wild rice
soup

KiaraLin said...

mushroom and onion and wild rice soup

laura jean said...

Do french fries count?

courtney said...

Creme brulet!!!!!

evalang said...

Macarons of course! Yours look wonderful. I recently had a piggy amount of the salted caramel macarons from Sweets Bakery in St. Paul but my favorites are the pistachio ones at Miette in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Ashley Brown said...

Vichyssoise, crepes, baguette smeared with Brie and apricots, any cheese soufflé. The dessert options are simply endless, if you're not vegan, of course.

Rose said...

The French make some awesome bread and my all time favorite is the kugelhopf. Almonds and raisins in sweet deliciousness, super yum. Oh and pithivier! Who can say no to fresh puff pastry and frangipane? It's crispy, flakey, soft and sweet all at the same time.

cheri said...

Your macarons look great! My favorite French vegetarian dish is a fresh baguette, some ferme noir cheese, a couple of glasses of chablis and big bunch of grapes.

Tina Sullivan said...

Last weekend my husband made vegan crepes stuffed with spinach and topped with a roasted red pepper sauce. In true French fashion, the meal preparation and the meal itself took hours and was accompanied by several glasses of wine.

kt said...

Brie & Tomato Baguette!

Tiffany said...

White chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis!

And I love Pistache Pastry's macarons - especially the lemon curd and salted caramel.

Tender Branson said...

Awesome looking recipe. I've wondered about the fruit balsamic combo.

Kathy White said...

Oh, my! How can one decide on a favorite french dish or recipe? Well, I will say that your post and your question makes me want to wake up to a french omelette filled with fresh veggies,herbs, and a little cheese. And I'll take a couple of croissants and a cafe au lait with that omelette.

AMD said...

Warm baguette with a yummy cheese and a nice glass of red wine followed with a coconut macaroon = heaven!!

Anonymous said...

These literally look like a vegan version of McDonald's hamburgers lol

Angie said...

Potatoes cooked in duck fat with leeks & garlic

Marti Ponton said...

I am a bit of a grammar nazi, and I kept wondering why you were spelling macaroons wrong... then I figured it out! I'm seeing macarons featured everywhere lately, I can't wait to try them, yum-e!