Lemon Curd Macarons - Success!

I'm so proud of my latest batch of macarons. They are absolutely, hands-down the best batch of macarons I've made thus far! Of course, they could be better, but I'm still super excited to show them off. 
For this batch, the major differences from the Pinktober macarons was that I didn't add cream of tartar, had some pretty old egg whites (though ended up having 80g of old and needing to add in 20g of new egg white) and I hand mixed during the macaronage process. 
I am pretty certain that you do need old egg whites for a regular batch of macarons, except I was out 20g of egg white for this batch so that is why I ended up adding a fresh egg white. I think the key is that the egg whites have to be room temperature before mixing.
For this batch I followed the same recipe from Not so Humble Pie  and during the macaronage process I followed the mixing process as demonstrated by Chef Nini. The process that she describes is slowly adding your almond mixture into the egg whites in a clockwise direction. She also split her almond mixture into 6 parts; with each section taking about 11 turns. Here's what I did: 1st part= 16 turns, 2nd part = 11 turns, 3rd part = 14 turns, 4th part = 11 turns, 5th part = 11 turns, and 6th part = 23 turns. Take a look at the video for a more detailed visual. 
The key is to go in a clockwise rotation without going through the middle of the mixture. My theory is that by doing so you don't "crush" the air bubbles in the egg whites. Again, you want to achieve the look of magma by the end of your mixing. For this attempt, the end result was a rather thick and heavy, but "magma" like mixture as you can see from the pictures. After piping into small disks, the macarons sat out for approximately 20 minutes before putting into the oven. They were baked at 295F and baked for a total of 14 minutes; turning the tray at 7 min. 

Lemon Curd
  • 3 egg yolks (strained)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (or 1 lemon)
  • 2 ounces cold butter (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch (mixed with a small amount of water).
Directions:
  1. Strain egg yolks through fine wire mesh.
  2. Place a bowl (could be stainless steel or ceramic) over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Whisk eggs and sugar together until well blended
  4. Add lemon juice.
  5. Continue whisking, in order to prevent curdling.
  6. Continue mixing until the mixture becomes thick (consistency should be like sour cream). This can take approx. 10 minutes.
  7. Add in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with small amount of water to help thicken the lemon curd. (note: this helped to thicken the curd, but overtime leaves a chalky texture in the macarons)
  8. Once thickened, remove from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time in chunks. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon until it is smooth.
  9. Add lemon zest and mix well
  10. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Cover the surface of the curd with saran wrap in order to prevent a skin from forming. Place bowl in fridge and allow it to become chilled. This can take about an hour. The curd should keep well in the fridge for up to a week. 

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