While I often vary the nuts I use for my macarons, I had never made a macaron that was totally nut-free. As I was to give my students a baking lesson in macarons, being a nut-free school this could have posed something of a challenge…but I thrive on a culinary challenge!
After some experimentation with nut alternatives, I settled upon pumpkin seeds.
Trying not to “make do”!
Now I do hate making substitutes for ingredients only to end up with something that pitifully whimpers “making do”, but using pumpkin seeds in place of almonds works well in this case, although you don’t get quite the smoothness or the feet that you get if using nuts.
Any filling of choice
I filled these with a white chocolate and passion fruit ganache. I also added a generous sprinkling of dried raspberry pieces to the ganache.
To make this ganache filling heat 100g double cream until it just simmers. Leave to cool a little and pour over 150g chopped white chocolate. Stir until smooth and beat in the juice of 1 passionfruit. Leave until it is cool and has slightly set before using.
Making the macarons
To make these macarons, simply replace the almonds with the same amount of pumpkin seeds and omit the fruit powder from my basic macaron recipe. I found that these cook in about 12 minutes. They are also a bit more fragile, so handle delicately.