Cranberry Jam for a quick and easy Macaron filling is paired with a smooth and fluffy mascarpone frosting.
- 230g fresh cranberries
- 170g apple cider or water (If you are in NZ, apple cider is reduced apple juice, NOT the vinegar)
- 100g white sugar
- 1 medium lemon, juice + zest
- 225g Mascarpone, at room temperature
- 55g cream cheese, at room temperature
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 25g powdered sugar
- Place the cranberries, apple cider, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is boiling. Boil for 13-18 minutes, stirring often, until the cranberries have burst.
- Transfer the mixture to a high speed blender, or blend with a stick blender, until smooth, approximately one minute.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan, add the lemon juice zest, and cook over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and cool in the saucepan for 20 minutes, before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating until completely chilled. The mixture will thicken as it cools. When you are ready to assemble, transfer to a piping bag and snip a small piece of the end off.
- Place the mascarpone, cream cheese, salt and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until well combined and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix well to incorporate. Add about 2 tsp of the cranberry jam, and mix to combine. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a circle of buttercream on one half of each pair. Pipe a small blob of cranberry jam in the centre. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.