Macaroon Jam Tarts

Macaroon Jam tarts

Happy Delicious New Year to you!

Well what with a bout of bronchitis to set me off, 2016 has also started more like “out with the new” and “in with the old”! The other day, I re-discovered an old faithful baking guide during a crazy New Year’s it’s-about-time-I-tidied-that-mess-up moment. Out fell a dusty 40th edition Be-Ro Flour Home Recipes book which Mum had handed me in 1992 before I left for France, a Scottish reminder to make the odd scone or shortbread now and again.

As I excitedly flicked through my favourite teatime recipes I fondly remembered making with Granny, I came across a recipe for macaroons. We hadn’t made these. Instead, these almond-filled treats immediately whisked me back to our local Scottish bakeries, who sold them as individual tarts and they included a hidden dollop of raspberry jam.  My thoughts also turned to Mr Kipling: we all knew from his evocative croaky but sexy-voiced UK adverts that he “made exceedingly good cakes”.

Who would have thought that since these childhood macaroon memories, I’d have married a Frenchman with a sexy accent, moved to Paris and learned how to make the Parisian Gerbet macaron. I say maca-ron, since these days there’s still some confusion between the macaron and macaroon. What’s the difference? One is made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites; and the other is made with coconut, sugar and egg whites.  Here’s my much more detailed answer in this article I wrote recently for BonjourParis magazine: Macaron vs Macaroon: What’s the Difference?

But this recipe is an exception to the rule. In fact, there are plenty of macaroon recipes out there which use pie crust and the macaroon reference here is just a mixture of almond or coconut toppings.  As for the jam, use apricot or strawberry but there’s nothing to beat good old raspberry: it makes exceedingly good macaroon jam tarts!