Pistachio macaroons

September 3rd, 2010


While the world is going made for cake pops, I’m still on the macaroon bandwagon. Since my original (fairly successful) foray into macaroon making, I’ve had a few more goes at perfecting the technique. I’ll admit that I’ve been close to tears on a few occasions, Pete refuses to be in the house anymore when I try to make them! (Strangely, he’s happy to eat them aftwards…)

So, having spent too long looking at lovely macaroons, and with a bake sale to bake for, I decided to have another go. Happily, the macaroons went down a storm and I had lots of requests for my pistachio macaroon recipe, so here it is.

A few words of warning, macaroons aren’t exactly easy to make, but they’re not impossible. I find the best thing to do is take your time and concentrate on exactly what the recipe says (easier said than done). I also found this article really helpful.


Below is my pistachio macaroon recipe: lovely pale green macaroon shells sandwiched together with a pistachio buttercream.

Pistachio macaroons
55g pistachios
55g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
90g egg whites (about 3)
20g caster sugar
For the buttercream
55g pistachios
250g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened

  • I like to set my piping bag up in a tall glass so that I can easily transfer the macaroon mixture into the bag. (You’ll need to fit it with a 1cm plain nozzle.)
  • Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. (I use my re-usable baking sheet that I got from the pound shop)
  • Grind the pistachios in a food processor to a fine powder then add the ground almonds and icing sugar and continue to blend until the nuts and icing sugar are completely blended. (The smoother this mixture, the smoother your macaroons will look). Don’t wash up the blender as you’ll need to grind more pistachios for the buttercream below.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl to soft peaks. Slowly whisk in the caster sugar until stiff peaks form and the egg whites are glossy.
  • Now for the ‘macronage’: fold the nut and icing sugar powder into the egg whites until well combined. You’ll end up with quite a thick paste. Be careful not to overmix!
  • Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe 3cm circles, about 2cm apart onto the baking tray. Rather than pipe in a circlular motion, you need to squeeze the mixture out then whip the nozzle away. The macaroons should flatten out, however, if you’re left with little ‘peaks’, flatten them with a wet finger.
  • Pick the trays up and carefully drop them onto the counter – this helps the macaroons develop characteristic ‘feet’.
  • Leave the macaroon shells to dry out for at least 30 minutes. (They’re ready when they’re no longer sticky to the touch). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Bake the macaroons for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before you try to remove them. If they are really sticky and look hollow underneath, try baking them for 5 more minutes.
  • For the buttercream, blend the pistachios to a fine powder, then blend again with the icing sugar until you have a pale green powder.
  • Beat the butter until soft and fluffy then beat in the pistachio icing sugar. If you’re using an electric whisk, I would beat the buttercream for a few minutes to make it really light and fluffy.
  • You can either spread the buttercream onto the macaroons using a knife or pipe it on for a clean finish.
  • The macaroons will keep really well for a few days in the fridge – this makes them particularly squidgy, or you can freeze them for up a month.
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4 Responses to “Pistachio macaroons”

  1. Juan says:

    mmmh, they were delicious! I won’t dare to try baking them though.

  2. Hannah says:

    Wow. They look absolutely beautiful. What I wouldn’t give for one – or two.. ahem – and a cup of earl grey right now. Mmmm… dreamy! Thanks for sharing tips too.

  3. Michelle says:

    😀 they look really nice, did you peel the ‘inner’ skin (the reddish greenn bits) or did you just chuck them straight into the food processor?

  4. Rachel says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I bought shelled pistachios, so the ‘inner skin’ had been removed. I’m not sure it would make too much of a difference, except in colour. Make sure you really blend them though and perhaps sieve the mixture afterwards so there are no lumps.

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