For the macarons
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
- Place the icing sugar and ground almonds in a processor. Whizz to a very fine mixture. Sift into a bowl, discarding any hard lumps.
- Place the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Whisk to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar until thick and glossy. Add a few drops of orange colouring.
- Fold half the almond and icing sugar mixture into the meringue. Mix well. Add the remaining half and fold the mixture, using a metal spoon or spatula, until it is a shiny, thick, ribbon-like consistency. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle.
- Pipe equal rounds of the macaron mixture, about 3cm across, onto the baking sheets. Tap the baking sheet gently 6 times on the work surface.
- Stand for at least 15 minutes, to form a slight skin. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool on the tray before transferring them carefully on to a cooling rack.
For the orange curd
- Place the egg yolk, sugar, zest and orange juice in a bowl over a saucepan, and cook on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir and cook the curd until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Run your finger down the spoon - you should be able to draw a line through it.
- Take the curd off the heat and stir in the butter, one or two pieces at a time.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, touching the curd. This ensures you don’t get a film on top. Refrigerate for an hour to firm.
- When ready to serve – pipe or spread a little curd onto half the macarons and top with the other halves. Serve immediately. Store any leftover curd in the fridge and use on toast or as cake filling.
Recipe: James Potter, RSPCA Assured scheme member, Yorkshire Free Range Eggs