With a crisp outer shell that melts into a sweet tincture on first bite and a lusciously fudgy chocolate filling imbued with fruity liqueur, these Spiced Pear Ganache Macarons are simply divine. These mint-hued beauties are naturally gluten free, supremely tender, and a perfect accompaniment for enjoying a piping hot cup of tea on a wintry afternoon.
About This Recipe
There is something about the winter that makes me crave pears. Perhaps it has to do with faint memories of beautiful wooden boxes filled with Harry & David’s fruits, or simply that pears are more abundant this time of year. Whatever the reason, pears are one of my cold-weather favorites. They also just so happen to pair beautifully with dark chocolate - another favorite of mine.
I also particularly love baking in the winter. Turning on the oven seems cozy (rather than crazy, like when it is 80 degrees outside and I don’t have air conditioning in my LA digs), and the act of creating something tasty and beautiful when it’s chilly out is the best balm for my sun-loving soul.
These delightfully delicious French macarons are the harmonious result of my cold weather inclinations. Delicate almond meringues are filled with a truffle-like filling of pear flavored ganache for a fun twist on my favorite kind of patisserie. Once you try this melt-in-your-mouth, fudge-filled treats, I’m certain you’ll feel the same.
The ingredients for these beautifully spiced pear ganache macarons are quite simple; you only need about 10 ingredients to make your dreams of becoming a French pâtissier come true! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Granulated Sugar - Don’t try swapping in brown sugar here; the moisture content is too high and can result in macaron shells that don’t have a foot.
- Blanched Almond Flour - It may seem fussy, but I usually reach for blanched almond flour; this means the skins of the almonds have been removed prior to processing, which results in a smoother, even colored macaron.
- Egg Whites - It’s best if your eggs are at room temperature in order to fully whip to stiff peaks. Also, be sure that you don’t let any egg yolks get into the whites - the added fat will prevent them from achieving stiff peaks. Finally, make sure you are not using the egg whites that come in a carton, as they simply won’t capture enough air to create those evasive stiff peaks.
- Powdered Sugar - While some French macaron recipes call for a stabilizer known as cream of tartar, I find that using powdered sugar does just as well because of the addition of cornstarch.
Spiced Pear Ganache Ingredients
- Heavy Cream - Heavy cream has a milk-fat of no less than 36%, which results in a super luscious mouthfeel. If needed, you can swap in whipping cream which ranges from 30-36% milk-fat, but whatever you do, don’t reach for low-fat cream. It is loaded with stabilizers and is not a good fit for this traditional French recipe.
- Glucose Syrup - Technically speaking, glucose syrup is an umbrella term that includes corn syrup. As such, you can make an easy swap here, using *light* corn syrup in place of glucose. That said, corn syrup is sweeter than glucose syrup, so you may want to adjust the amount used or use a higher percentage dark chocolate to balance things out.
- Dark Chocolate - Since there are so few ingredients in ganache, I'd highly recommend using quality chocolate as the flavors and textures will shine through! Also, I’m something of a dark chocolate connoisseur - reach for 70% or higher from a reputable brand like Valrhona, Callebaut, Scharffen Berger, Guittard, or Ghirardelli.
- Spiced Pear Liqueur - You can buy (ADD AFFILIATE?) spiced pear liqueur at well stocked liquor stores, or try your hand at making your own using vodka.
- Unsalted Butter - As a butter connoisseur, I’m partial to cultured, grass-fed, organic and/or european style butters.
These deeply luscious pear ganache macarons can be a little tricky to make for the first time, but these tools will help guide you to macaron success:
- Immersion Blender - I can attest that there is no better way to achieve perfectly silky ganache than by using an immersion blender. If you’re on the fence about buying a product simply for ganache making, it has many other uses, too! Use it to mix natural peanut butter when the oil separates, to emulsify salad dressings, or to blend creamy soups directly in the pot without dirtying your blender or working in batches.
- Electric mixer with whisk attachment - If you have one, I highly recommend going the stand mixer route here; getting those elusive stiff peaks takes some time. In a pinch, a hand mixer will work, but you won’t be able to multitask as efficiently.
- Food processor - Ensuring that your ingredients are finely processed means you have a much better chance of having perfectly smooth, perfect macarons.
- Mesh strainer - Sifting is another step you don’t want to miss when you’re making these pear macarons; any large chunks that were missed in the food processor will not make it through the strainer. This means you don't have to worry about any unsightly blemishes.
- Sheet pans - If you haven’t yet, I recommend investing in some good (read: unwarped) cookie trays. I personally love sheet pans made by USA Pans and Nordicware
- Parchment or Silpat - I personally like to make myself a little template when I’m making macarons to ensure that they end up round and of the same size. I draw on a piece of parchment paper using a small 1” lid or biscuit cutter as my guide. If you prefer to have something ready to go, Silpat makes a macaron mat that has handy guides printed right on it.
- Piping bags and tips - Part of the allure of French macarons is their appearance, and piping bags and tips ensure that they are flawless. In a pinch, use a zip-top plastic bag with the corner cut off!
- Use a scale! The French baking tradition is an exacting art; proper tools will ensure perfect results every time.
How to Make
Making traditional French macarons is a bit of a process, and it takes some practice. Take a deep breath, read the recipe all the way through, and know that you’ve GOT this.
Mise en Place
The French term mise en place - which translates to “everything in its place” - means to set up your working space in preparation for an activity. With macarons, it's extremely important to make sure that you set yourself up for success before starting.
The meringue and batter you will be making are quite sensitive - if you take too much time between each step, you won't see quality results. Take that extra bit of prep to measure your ingredients and prepare the tools you need before starting these macarons.
Make Macaron Shells
As with many baking recipes, you’ll have both wet and dry ingredients to work with. Don’t try to rush or combine any of these steps.
First, prep your materials. Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tip for piping such as this Wilton piping tip.
Prepare Egg Whites and Dry Ingredients
Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.
While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.
Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate.
Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your French meringue - the trick is to fold it well enough without overmixing.
To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Your mixing is done when the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly.
You should see the batter that has dripped back into the bowl rest on top for a moment before slowly sinking back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over-mixed (which makes it impossible to work with), so be careful not to overmix!
Pipe and Rest
Pour your macaron batter into the prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper.
Tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface to remove air bubbles and ensure a smooth top. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes - this is non-negotiable. You want a sort of skin to form on the surface of the macarons; once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
When you gently touch the upper shell and it barely moves, and the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper, the macarons are done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
Make Ahead Tip: Macaron shells that have been baked and fully cooled can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month with no discernible change in quality! Simply allow them to defrost for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before filling and eating.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Add cream & glucose to a saucepan and bring to a slight boil. Remove from heat and pour over the dark chocolate. Stir to combine, letting the warm cream start to melt the chocolate.
Add the butter into your warm chocolate mixture, and using an immersion blender, blend the ganache until the butter has fully incorporated and your mixture is smooth. Add spiced pear liqueur and fold to combine.
Allow the chocolate ganache to cool completely before assembly.
Make Ahead Tip: Spiced pear ganache can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge until ready. To fill your macarons, simply let the ganache come to room temperature before piping.
Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell’s matching half and pipe approximately two teaspoons of pear ganache to the bottom shell (I prefer using the french star tip or a round tip) before adding a macaron shell on top.
Tips & Tricks
For Making Macaron Shells
- Use exactly ZERO yolks. The easiest way to separate eggs is by using cold eggs (cold yolks don’t break as easily) and the fingers of your non-dominant hand. Crack the egg open with your dominant hand, then pour the contents into the slightly separated fingers of your non-dominant hand; your fingers should catch the yolks, and the whites will drip through.An ounce of egg yolk can destroy the meringue, so it’s best to only work with one white at a time in case a yolk breaks.
- Don’t overmix. Getting the whites to stiff peaks takes a lot of time; don’t ruin all of that amazing levity by overmixing! Be sure to be gentle, stopping when the batter runs off your spatula slowly, with the drips resting atop the rest of the batter for a few moments before sinking in.
- Tap for smooth exteriors. Tapping the baking sheet firmly on a flat surface will knock any excess bubbles out of the macarons. You can also just hold the pan a few inches above your work surface and drop it flatly. Any remaining bubbles can be popped using a toothpick.
- Rest the batter. Once the macarons are piped onto your baking tray, it is absolutely imperative that you rest the batter. While the shells are resting, they develop a skin over the top. This means that any air that is forced out while cooking must go through the bottom, creating the signature “foot” on a French macaron.
- Use an Oven thermometer. Baking is always a scientific endeavor, and nothing could be more true of making French macarons. After living in a multitude of rented apartments, I can tell you one thing with certainty - most ovens are FINICKY. Get yourself a $7 oven thermometer so you can take the guesswork out of it.
For the Spiced Pear Ganache
- Chop that chocolate! Taking a few moments to roughly chop your chocolate into small pieces will allow for the hot cream to easily melt your chocolate, leading to a lovely ganache texture and mouthfeel.
- Heat the cream thoroughly, without scorching it. The cream's temperature needs to be hot enough to gently melt the chocolate. Your cream is ready to pour over chocolate when it comes to a slight boil.
- Use softened butter. Ensuring that the butter is at room temperature will help during the immersion process. If your butter has not been softened, it will be quite challenging to incorporate it into the chocolate & cream mixture.
Storing Spiced Pear Ganache Macarons
Technically, allowing your completed Spiced Pear Ganache Macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure! Try using framboise for a raspberry scented ganache, triple sec for orange, or amaretto for almond. You can even mix and match if you want!
Nope! I love dark chocolate, and I think it pairs mighty nicely with spiced pear flavors. However, you can make ganache out of any percentage of chocolate, even white chocolate! Note that if you use white chocolate, you opt for REAL white chocolate that lists cocoa butter as the first ingredient.
I recommend using gel food coloring for best results; the pigment is richer and the liquid content is lower, so you can get more vibrant colors without disturbing the meringues.
While traditional French macarons are made with almonds, you can certainly switch things up if you prefer. Pistachios are a great option, or you can use sesame seeds and ground tiger nuts if you prefer a nut-free version.
You know the acronym KISS, right? Keep it simple, Sugar! Use gel food coloring to brighten up the macaron shells to whatever color you like. You can also “paint” the baked macarons with some thinned-out food coloring, or use a bit of edible gold leaf if you’re into a little bling. Take a look at my Passion fruit macarons for tips on painting your macaron shells!
- Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Macarons
- Tiger Nut Macarons
- Rosemary Salted Caramel Macarons
- Black Sesame & Apricot Macarons
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try making these Spiced Pear Ganache Macarons, please leave a review or share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - and for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Spiced Pear Ganache Macarons
- Food Processor
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Mixer with Whisk Attachment
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Tray
- Piping Bags & Piping Tips
- Immersion Blender (optional)
- 76 g (⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon ) Granulated Sugar
- 90 ml (About 3 egg whites ) Room Temperature Egg Whites
- 80 g (¾ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Almond Flour, Blanched
- 150 g (1 ¼ Cup ) Confection’s Sugar, Powdered Sugar
Spiced Pear Ganache
- 100 g (⅓ Cup + 1.5 Tbsp) Heavy Cream
- 32 g (1.5 tablespoon) Glucose syrup, or corn syrup
- 175 g (1 Cup) Dark chocolate, Roughly Chopped
- 30 g (2 tablespoon) Spiced Pear Liqueur
- 25 g (2 tablespoon) Unsalted Butter , room temperature
- Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tips for piping.
- Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.76 g Granulated Sugar, 90 ml Room Temperature Egg Whites
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.80 g Almond Flour, 150 g Confection’s Sugar
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your french meringue and folding these ingredients enough to allow for the perfect desired consistency. To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Press mixture on the side of your bowl until the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly. You should see that the batter will drip off the spatula back into the bowl, and rest on top for a moment. Then, the batter from your spatula will slowly sink back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over mixed leading to it being impossible to work with, so be careful not to overmix!
- Pour your macaron batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper. In order to get rid of any air bubbles within your piped shells and to even out your tops, tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- You will know that your macarons are ready to remove from the oven when you gently touch the upper shell, and it barely moves, while the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper. Remove from the oven to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
Spiced Pear Ganache
- Add cream & glucose to a saucepan and bring to a slight boil.100 g Heavy Cream, 32 g Glucose syrup
- Remove from heat and pour over the dark chocolate. Stir to combine as the warm cream starts to melt the chocolate.175 g Dark chocolate
- Add the butter into your warm chocolate mixture, using an immersion blender, blend ganache until the butter has fully incorporated and your mixture is smooth. Add spiced pear liqueur and fold to combine.30 g Spiced Pear Liqueur, 25 g Unsalted Butter
- Allow the chocolate ganache to cool completely before assembly.
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell's matching half and pipe a circle of ganache into the middle. Finally, top with the matching half.
- Mise en place - Macarons are time-sensitive! Prepare your mise en place (meaning to set up your working space in preparation for an activity) before you get started so your ingredients and equipment are ready to go.
- Use a piping template - A foolproof way of making perfect macaron shells every time is to trace identical 1-inch diameter circles onto the parchment paper to use as your piping template.
- Use an oven thermometer - Baking the shells at the right temperature is important, so I highly recommend using an oven thermometer.
- Weigh the ingredients - While macarons only use 4 ingredients, if one isn’t measured correctly, your odds of macaron success are considerably lower. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale so everything is precise!
- Storing your macarons - Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
- Practice makes perfect - It’s no secret that making macarons can be tricky. Just keep practicing and experimenting with different macaron flavors, and you’ll be a pro in no time!