The title of this post should be Macarons: the fussy cookie because they are the most difficult thing I have ever baked! Macarons have a simple ingredient list: almond flour, egg whites, powered sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. The execution of the making and baking of the macarons is the tricky part, not the ingredients. I think that I have gotten the read on macarons but I still have plenty of room for improvement. The strawberry-blueberry jam recipe is at the end of the post. Even if you have no interest in macarons, I encourage you to make the jam. It is excellent on toast, pb&j, over ice cream, etc!
This was my second attempt at macarons. The first attempt failed when I let the meringue go about 45 seconds to long and it failed…miserably.
I read every post that BraveTart wrote on the subject and followed her recipe to the T. While I still have some learning to do, the second batch of macarons had some success stories while others were flat, cracked, hollow or just did not look right. I had about two dozen macaron shells that looked like macarons so I filled them with strawberry-blueberry jam.
The strawberry-blueberry jam is a freezer jam recipe from my mother and it is by far my favorite jam. I keep my freezer stocked with it at all times. The base jam recipe is below. For the cookies, I thawed the jam and mixed one tsp cornstarch with one tsp water and added it to the jam in a small pot. I heated the jam, stirring constantly, until the jam was very thick. This allowed the jam to “set” in between the cookies. After the jam cooled completely, I spooned it onto a macaron shell and added a second shell on top.
A tip: Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge. While you can eat them right away, they have the best texture after 24 hours.
Strawberry-Blueberry Freezer Jam
Recipe from my Mom
Makes 6 cups of jam
1 1/2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
1 cup crushed fresh blueberries
4 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin
6 one cup freezer safe jelly jars or containers, rinsed in boiling water & dried completely (I use the Ball Plastic Freezer Containers.)
Mix fruit together in a large bowl and stir in all of the sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix water and pectin together in a small saucepan. On high heat, stir constantly while bringing the mixture to a boil. Cook for one minute, still stirring. Add the pectin and water to the fruit mixture and stir for three minutes. (A few sugar crystals may still be present.) Immediately, fill all containers leaving 1/2 inch of head space (leave 1/2 inch of room at the top of the jar). Wipe off the top and edges of the containers and cover with lids. Leave the containers to stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Transfer to freezer or refrigerate for three months. If frozen, allow to thaw in the fridge before using.