These Spiced Apple and Pecan French Macarons bring all the comforting flavors of fall baking in a single bite: they taste like your favorite apple pie in a fruity, sweet package! This recipe includes a variety of resources to help you successfully make macarons, including a full French Macaron video masterclass!
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Last week, I went apple picking with my son and his class, and though we quickly have been eating our way through the bags we collected, I made sure to save enough to make apple-based desserts and dishes: apple tart, apple cake, crumble, applesauce, and even fabuloussoups have all been added to the to-do list. I had also been on the lookout for fall-inspired macaron inspiration for a while, so then it hit me: an apple season-themed French macaron, of course!
Don’t these beautiful Spiced Apple and Pecan French Macarons look like a slice of your favorite apple pie, in a single bite? The macaron shells contain pecans and fall-inspired spices—cinnamon, allspice, and ginger—whereas the irresistible caramelized apple buttercream contains diced apples that were slow caramelized in butter and cane sugar. Because I think a clever way to emphasize the flavor of a macaron is to add an additional surprise element, I kept some of the caramelized apples aside and tucked them into the buttercream nests.
The flavor of these Spiced Apple and Pecan French Macarons is intense and comforting. Although you may not have previously considered French macarons as comfort food, I assure you that a plate of these served with a nice cup of tea will definitely warm your insides. They make a nice change from classic fall-inspired desserts—and wrapped in a cute box, they’re the perfect hostess gift, too.
FIRST TIME MAKING FRENCH MACARONS?
If this is your first time making macarons, prep, read, and watch before you start: Macarons are finicky to make, but if you set aside enough time so that you won’t be rushed, you can do it. I have a variety of resources available for you:
And a 30-minute French Macaron Video Masterclass—which I highly recommend watching before you make macarons for the first time. There’s nothing like watching someone making macarons to learn how to make them properly—that’s how I learned over 10 years ago, and that’s how thousands of my students did too!
NEW: French Macaron Video Masterclass
Learn how to make perfect French macarons at home with my detailed video masterclass, now available to everyone for FREE and unlimited watching! This masterclass was previously hosted behind a paywall on an educational site where THOUSANDS of students rated it 5 STARS! It’s now available to all macaron lovers worldwide, for absolutely free ❤️
My detailed French Macaron Video Masterclass is divided into 14 handy lessons that will make you a macaron expert in no time. I designed my masterclass both for novice bakers who want to learn new skills, and for experienced bakers who are seeking to master a new and impressive dessert. Let me guide you throughthe essential equipment you need, the important steps to follow, the techniques to master, and the potential pitfalls to avoid. You can watch the videos on your own time, start practicing, share with other budding macaron makers, and ask me questions if you encounter difficulties along the way.
I’m confident that this video class will enable you to create perfect French macarons.Watch the class now!
If you enjoy my French Macaron Masterclass, make sure to “like” it on YouTube to allow other macaron lovers to discover it. Thank you and happy baking!
For the caramelized apples: In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter, then whisk in the sugar. Add the apples, and sauté until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
Scoop ½ cup (125 ml) of the caramelized apples into the container of a blender. Add the heavy cream and blend to make a very smooth puree (you can also use a stick blender to do this.) Cool the puree completely.
For the buttercream: Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, and beat for a minute to soften. Add half the powdered sugar and beat on low speed to moisten the sugar, then increase the speed to incorporate fully. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the cooled caramelized apple puree, and beat to incorporate fully. Add the remaining powdered sugar, and beat on medium speed until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and set aside 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.)
For the pecan macaron shells: *Return the egg whites to room temperature at least an hour before making the macarons shells.*In the bowl of a food processor, add the powdered sugar, almond flour, and pecans, and process until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated, 30 seconds to a minute. Sift the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to make sure no lumps or bigger bits of nuts are left.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large stainless steel mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium/high speed until frothy. Add a tablespoon of the granulated sugar, continue whisking at medium-low speed, then add the remaining sugar slowly. Increase the speed medium-high and whisk until the egg whites are bright white and create stiff peaks. At low speed, mix in a few drops of red gel food coloring, to your liking.
Add the almond and powdered sugar mixture to the egg whites and, using a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients: slide your spatula all the way to the bottom of the bowl and comes back up to the top. Do this about 6 times to incorporate the dry ingredients, then keep folding for a total of about 14 times until no pockets of dry ingredients remain and the mixture drops from the side of the spatula in a slow, lazy ribbon. Start testing early to make sure not to overfold.
Transfer the macaron batter in a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch (1.25-cm) round tip. Pipe 1.5-inch (3.8-cm) rounds of batter, evenly spaced but still close to one another as they will not expand much.
Carefully slide the macaron templates off the baking sheets, if you used them. Let the shells rest on the baking sheets for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C) with a rack set to the middle position. Bake each sheet of macaron shells for 13 to 16 minutes, or until the shells are firm on their feet when you lightly tap on them with the tip of a finger.
Let the shells cool completely to room temperature before assembling them, about an hour.
To assemble the pecan macarons: Pair same sized shells together and set side by side on a work surface. Pipe some buttercream over half of the shells, following the circumference of each shell to create a circle of buttercream. Fill each circle with a small quantity of the saved diced caramelized apples. Close the pecan macarons, gently pressing the second shells over the filling.
STORAGE: Store the assembled Apple and Pecan French Macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight before indulging. French macarons will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. You can also freeze assembled macarons in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
SERVING: Always bring these Apple and Pecan French Macarons back to room temperature before serving.
This recipe makes about twice the amount of frosting you need to fill the macarons. Use the remaining frosting to garnish a cake or cupcakes, or freeze it in an airtight container until you make a new batch of macaron shells. Simply defrost to room temperature and whisk vigorously to soften before using.
You will also have some of caramelized apple puree leftover (a tasty bonus!) Use this delicious treat like you would apple butter: spread over pancakes, croissants, or sliced baguette.
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