How to make the filling for pumpkin spice macarons with freshly roasted red kuri squash (potimarron pumpkin) and egg yolks. Deliciously fun with the flavours of Autumn or Fall from Paris. Also great for Halloween and Thanksgiving parties.
Pumpkins in France
I've never really understood why the French don't seem to be that much into regular pumpkin. So, when I bought a potimarron last week at the market in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a lovely French lady in the queue asked me what I did with it. Well, here's one of my recipes! In France potimarron is very popular - it even tastes a little of chestnuts, just like its name implied, Japanese Chestnut Pumpkin.
For more, check out the pumpkin (courges) page at the French market
for random facts about pumpkin in France and recipes.
What is Potimarron in English?
What's Potimarron in English? Apparently it's Red Kuri, Japanese Squash or Orange Hokkaido. It's darker than pumpkin without the ridges and has a more intense, even chestnut-like texture and flavour (as the French name implies: marron, meaning chestnut). What I love about it is, unlike pumpkin, you can eat the skin.
For sweet pumpkin recipes, it's difficult to find pumpkin purée in the French shops. It's an ingredient that appears to be popular with most of my American friends in Autumn and so in France we just have to make our own.
When I looked up some pumpkin macaron recipes, there wasn't even any pumpkin in them - instead simply pumpkin pie spice. So I got to work and developed this recipe using freshly roasted pumpkin with spices. The result is delicious.
My inspiration for these pumpkin spice macarons started with David Lebovitz's roasted pumpkin, potimarron or kuri squash. He mentioned that the Red Kuri squash slices could also be roasted with brown sugar and cinnamon. So my mad macaron instincts got to work and instead I used pain d'épices or gingerbread spice, the French's closest quick answer to pumpkin pie spice.
Macaron Filling with Egg Yolks
Not only are they filled with spiced roasted pumpkin, but this macaron filling is made with egg yolks. Two are needed for this recipe, so there's no waste when using the egg whites to make the macarons.
What is Pumpkin Spice?
Another ingredient that's difficult to find in France is pumpkin spice so we need to make our own.
So what's in it? Mainly ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon), ¼ teaspoon each of ground ginger and nutmeg plus a pinch of ground cloves. Add a pinch of allspice if you love an extra flavour of Autumn or Fall.
More popular in France is pain d'épices or gingerbread spice which is very similar and easily found ready prepared. The only difference is the addition of either ground cardamom or coriander to replace the allspice.
Best Macaron Fillings: How Long do They Keep?
Normally chocolate ganache macaron fillings are best kept at least 36 hours before eating. As a result, macarons can keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container or cake box in the fridge. They also freeze well.
Why are my macarons soggy?
For fillings made with fruit purées, be careful; it can make macarons become rather soggy. One tip is to add ground almonds (almond flour) to soak up the juices which I've done in this recipe.
So the good news with this recipe is that for impatient macaronivores, you can eat this macaron after only 6 hours in the fridge and finish them the next day. Any longer and they will turn slightly soggy - but the taste is divine and full of healthy, spicy squash!
I wouldn't recommend keeping the pumpkin spice macarons any longer than 2 days or even freezing them as you would for all the macaron recipes in my book. If you prefer to keep them longer like in the books, use equal quantities of purée, melted white chocolate and whipping cream.
How to Make the Macaron Shells
Instructions how to make the macaron shells are given step-by-step in both my books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris.
Just add a good pinch of powdered colouring (I use a pinch of red and yellow) and a teaspoon of pumpkin spice or pain d'épices (French gingerbread spice) to the meringue.
Roasted Pumpkin Spice Macaron Filling
This recipe is ideal for serving later in the day. Just chill in the fridge for 6 hours. Best eaten within a couple of days. The basic French recipe for macaron shells are well explained, step by step in both my books Mad About Macarons! and Teatime in Paris! (100g egg whites for about 35 macarons/70 shells).
Looking for more Hallowe'en macaron flavours?
See my Top Ten Halloween macaron ideas.
Pumpkin Spice Macarons Filling
For Roasting the Chestnut Pumpkin (Potimarron)
- ½ red kuri squash or chestnut pumpkin (potimarron)
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 teaspoon pumpkin spice
Pumpkin Spice Macaron Filling
- 2 g (@2g) gelatine sheet
- 2 egg yolks organic
- 50 g (2oz) brown sugar
- 50 g (2oz) whipping cream (30% fat)
- 100 g (4oz) roasted red kuri/chestnut pumpkin (about half a small pumpkin)
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin spice or pain d'épices*
- 2 tablespoon ground almonds (almond flour)
- 100 g (4oz) mascarpone chilled
Pumpkin Spice Macarons (shells)
- 120 g (4½oz) ground almonds (almond flour)
- 180 g (6oz) icing/confectioner's sugar
- 100 g (3½oz) egg whites (aged for 2-3 days)
- 65 g (2½oz) caster sugar (superfine)
- pinch orange (red/yellow) powdered food colouring
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or pain d'épices)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Cut the kuri squash in 2 and, using only half of it, scoop out the seeds. Cut into slices and place on a non-stick baking sheet, sprinkling with the brown sugar and spice. Cover with aluminium foil and roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the slices. When ready, set aside to cool then purée using a mixer or by hand with a masher. Weigh out 100g of purée.
- For the cream, soak the gelatine in cold water for about 15 minutes. In a bowl, hand-whisk the yolks and sugar until creamy. Heat the cream in a saucepan until nearly boiling, then whisk into the yolk mixture then transfer back to the pan over a medium heat, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens (rather like a pastry cream).
- Take off the heat, add the gelatine (squeeze of excess water) to the warm cream, whisking until melted then add the purée, ground almonds and spice. Set aside to cool then chill for about an hour.
- Hand-whisk in the mascarpone then transfer the cream to a piping bag with a 1cm plain tip. Pipe onto half of the shells then assemble with the remaining macaron shell tops and chill in the fridge.
This recipe was first published 28 October 2014 but has now been updated with more explanatory text, tips and advice.