Yield 28 ASSEMBLED MACARONS.
To make the Clementine Buttercream filling (if using):
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer to do so), then add the sifted powdered sugar. Beat at low speed to moisten the sugar, then increase the speed and beat until the sugar is well incorporated. Add the clementine zest and juice. Beat at high speed until the buttercream is light and fluffy. If the buttercream seems a bit loose, refrigerate it for 30 minutes to an hour before piping it into the macarons. Transfer to an airtight container and reserve until ready to assemble the macarons. (The buttercream can be made ahead; refrigerate, but make sure to return to room temperature at least an hour before using.)
To make the shells:
Take the egg whites out of the refrigerator about an hour before making the macarons to return them to room temperature. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slide macaron templates under the parchment paper, if using.
Place the almond flour, powdered sugar, and clementine zest in the bowl of a food processor. Finely grind the two together for a minute or two. Stop the processor, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and process again for a minute. After processing the powdered sugar and almond flour together, carefully sieve the mixture but keep any zest that doesn't go through the sieve (you want that flavor in your macarons!). Reserve the almond/sugar/clementine zest mixture.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a stainless steel or glass bowl if using a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium/high speed for a minute or two, or until they are foamy. Add a tablespoon of the granulated sugar, continue beating, then add the remaining sugar slowly. Beat until the egg whites are stiff, dense and creamy. Mix in 5 drops orange and 2 drops yellow gel food coloring (or to taste). Delicately fold in the nuts/sugar mixture in 2 or 3 additions. Slide your spatula all the way to the bottom of the bowl and comes back up several times to make sure no pockets of dry ingredients remain and the color is evenly blended.
Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C) with a rack set to the middle position. Bake the macarons for 13 to 16 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes.
Let the shells cool completely to room temperature before assembling them with the buttercream, about an hour. Pair same sized shells together.
To assemble the macarons:
Pipe or spread Clementine Jelly or Clementine Buttercream over half of the shells. If using Clementine Buttercream, tuck a small piece of clementine or orange pâte de fruits in the center for an added surprise. Cover the filling with a second matching shell.
Store the assembled macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate for one night before indulging. Enjoy within the next three days for the best texture and flavor. Always bring the macarons back to room temperature before serving.
Recipe Credits: Marie Asselin
Courses dessert, snack
Recipe by Food Nouveau at http://foodnouveau.com/recipes/desserts/macarons/clementine-macarons/