In the English village of Evershot, the Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa boasts a tea service steeped in heritage. Freshly baked macarons— delicate meringue-based confections with ribbons of jam and house-made custard buttercream—offer a delectable taste of signature hospitality.
- 4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (400 grams) almond flour
- 3⅓ cups (400 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 10 (300 grams) aged egg whites*, divided
- 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) water
- Custard Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Jam (optional)
- Invert rimmed baking sheets, and line the undersides of pans with nonstick baking mats.†
- In a large bowl, sift together almond flour and confectioners’ sugar. Using a spatula, fold in 5 aged egg whites. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring granulated sugar and ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons water to a boil over medium-high heat. Let simmer until a candy thermometer registers 249°, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat remaining 5 egg whites at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
- When sugar mixture reaches temperature, remove from heat. Increase mixer speed to high, and add sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream, being careful not to let sugar mixture hit sides of bowl. Beat at high speed until mixture is glossy with smooth peaks, about 10 minutes.
- Gently fold almond flour mixture into whipped egg white mixture in thirds, being careful not to deflate egg whites.
- Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip†, and pipe 1½-inch circles 2 inches apart on prepared inverted pans. Lift each pan to a height of 6 inches above counter, and drop to release air bubbles. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Let stand at room temperature until shells form a skin, 10 to 20 minutes. (Shells should feel dry to the touch and not stick to the finger.)
- Preheat oven to 284°.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven off, and let rest for 10 minutes with oven door closed. Shells will have risen slightly and just set (but not browned). Let cool completely before filling. (Shells may be frozen in airtight containers for up to 1 month before filling and serving.)
- Spoon or pipe approximately 1 teaspoon Custard Buttercream, and a little jam, if desired, over flat side of half of shells. Place remaining shells, flat-side down, on top of filling. Refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
†For testing purposes, our test kitchen used four baking sheets and Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats. Shells can be piped and baked in batches, if needed. For piping, our test kitchen recommends using a Wilton No. 10 or No. 12 Round Decorating Tip.
Note: Using Imperial measurements instead of grams may give a slightly different result due to differences in weight among different product brands.
- 4 (180 grams) medium eggs
- 14 tablespoons (180 grams) granulated sugar
- 7 ounces (200 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (500 grams) unsalted butter
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar.
- In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk one-third milk into egg mixture. Gradually pour egg mixture into remaining milk, whisking constantly. Return saucepan to medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (to coat back of spoon). Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
- Slowly whisk in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate for 1 hour before use.
Photography Jane Hope
Learn more about Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and other renowned British tearooms in our Victoria Classics 2018 edition of Tea Pleasures.