Pawpaw Macarons with a White Chocolate Ganache
Don’t be afraid of French Macarons. If you’re reading this, you’re like me and like a challenge. I’m not gonna lie, these are not the easiest cookies you will ever make, but they are not as difficult as people might want you to believe. The flavor of these pawpaw macarons are unique, and would make a delicious and beautiful gift for your friends and family.
There’s Actually a National Pawpaw Day!
I recently discovered that the third Thursday in September has been designated as National Pawpaw Day by the “National Day Calendar”. What better way to celebrate than to make these beautiful Pawpaw Macarons?
Can you buy pawpaws On-line?
Well, if you’re like Pepé, and not a forager, you might find them at your local farmers’ markets or on-line such as Ozark Forest Mushroom.com. At the time of writing this post they were selling fresh pawpaws for $7.00/pound. But if you know where to look, you can find more than you need for free. I got lucky because there are hundreds on our land. It’s like hunting for Easter eggs as you can see here.
Pawpaws are not typically commercially grown due to their short shelf life. Once they’re ripe, they will need to be eaten or preserved in some way in the next day or so. I have additional information in my Pawpaw Ice Cream article, or Here.
Slice pawpaws in half, scoop out the flesh, discard the seeds and skin. Purée the flesh in a blender, put the purée in an airtight resealable bag and freeze.
NO, but pawpaw is another name for the papaya fruit elsewhere in the world. Papayas are a tropical fruit, whereas pawpaws are indigenous to the midwest of the United States, definitely not Tropical.
Pawpaws are usually ripe when they fall off of the tree, but in general, since they are a custard fruit, they are ready to eat when they are quite soft like a very ripe peach.
- 3.17 Ounces Almond Flour 90g finely ground almonds
- 4.41 Ounces Powdered Sugar 125g Icing Sugar
- 2 Egg Whites extra large and room temperature
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1.87 Ounces White Sugar 53g
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Pinch Cream of Tartar
- 2 Drops Gel Food Color orange
Pawpaw Ganache Filling:
- 3 Ounces White Baking Chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream 15g
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons White Sugar 19g
- 4.305 Ounces Pawpaw Purée 122g (see note below)
- Combine the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse it several time to mix.
- Pour this into a fine sieve and sift into a large bowl. You may have as much as one tablespoon or slightly more that doesn’t go through the sieve. Don’t worry about that, just toss it. You only want the very finely ground stuff so your cookies will be smooth.
- Now for the meringue… Place two room temperature egg whites and a pinch of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attached. Whip the egg whites on high until they start to get frothy. Add the salt, then slowly add the sugar, then the vanilla and the food dye. Keep whipping on high until the meringue becomes glossy and fluffy.
- You should have stiff peaks if you remove the whip and hold upside down.
- Scoop out half of this mixture and place in the bowl with the almond flour and powdered sugar. Gently start folding the wet and dry mixtures together. (do not beat or whisk it). Once incorporated, add the other half of the meringue and continue to fold together.
- When you scoop the filling up and let it drop off of your spatula in the shape of a figure eight, without the flow breaking, it’s at the right consistency. They call this the consistency of “lava”.
- Spoon your filling into a piping bag with a .5“/1.27cm round tip, or a gallon resealable plastic bag (cutting a .5”/1.27cm opening in one corner).
- Pipe into 1.5”/ 3.8cm rounds. See above for a template you can print out and place under a silicone mat in needed. You’ll need to print four copies for this recipe. I use two side by side (trimming some extra border away) per sheet pan, and I’ve used the same four sheets for years. When piping, hold the bag vertically, not at an angle and pipe into the center of the circle just a bit above the mat and stopping about .125”/.3175cm from the edge of the circle. The batter will spread as it settles.
- Rap the baking sheets hard but evenly on the counter, or raise and drop them squarely on the counter 4 or more times to pop the air bubbles that rose to the top. Let these rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. You should be able to gently rub your finger across them without sticking to them.
- Halfway through the resting time Make your filling, place oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 290°F to 300°F/ 144°C to150°C “convection” or “pure convection”. Each oven is different and weather/humidity can play a part as well, so it may take a couple of batches to know where to put your oven temperature. Too high and your cookies will change color and look dingy.
- Cook macaron shells for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely before filling. Match up all cookies according to size (because they are not always the same no matter how hard you try), then pipe filling onto one half and place the other half on top.
To make the filling.
- Slice pawpaws in half, scoop out the flesh, discard seeds and skin. Place pawpaw flesh in blender and purée. You'll need about 1 cup.
- Cook pawpaw purée, sugar and lemon in a small sauce pan on med, stirring often until reduced by about half. Set aside and let cool.
- Chop white chocolate into smaller chunks if it’s not already and place in a medium bowl.
- Heat cream in another sauce pan (or in a microwave safe bowl) just until it simmers. DO NOT BOIL.
- Pour warm cream over chocolate and stir to melt and combine. If it seems to be cooling too fast, you can microwave for a few seconds at time. Once this is combined, stir in the reduced pawpaw mixture. Place all this into a piping bag or a large (1 gallon/3,78L) resealable plastic bag with a 1/4” -3/8”/ .635cm – .9525cm round tip or cut the corner from the zip-lock bag.
- Match up all your macaron shells according to size. Place the bag in a glass or container to hold it open while you spoon the ganache into the bag. If using a zip-lock bag press it all down to one end, seal the bag, then snip the corner. Twist the bag just at the top of the filling to keep pressure so you can squeeze it out evenly.
- Pipe half of the shells with the ganache and place the other shell on top to create a sandwich. Pat yourself on the back.