Lychee + Watermelon Macarons Recipe

Watermelon is the fruit of the summer. You cannot go to one picnic or family gathering and not find a big bowl of this juicy fruit. Another fruit that is nice and ripe in the summer is lychee (pronunciation: lee-chee or lie-chee? I always said lie-chee growing up, but always heard lee-chee outside of my home). When my future brother-in-law asked me to make him macarons for his birthday in July I couldn’t resist — especially because I’ve known him since he was a little 12 year old and because I consider him my own brother now. His only specific request was that I make it in a cool and unique flavour — so naturally I thought of the two big bowls of juicy fruits sitting in my fridge. Watermelon and lychee… but not together in the same macaron. I was just going to make both flavours in a macaron shell of their own.

I used the macaron shell recipe from the raspberry mango macarons I made last year. This is the macaron recipe I’ve been making for years now and it never fails me. Since I was experimenting with these macaron flavours, I decided to also experiment with the recipe and I attempted to change the meringue from an Italian meringue to a french meringue just to see if it was easier or faster in anyway. I ended up ruining the macarons because I had over-mixed, which resulted in cracked shells that were missing the little signature feet. I found that mixing it was way harder using this method, so I just decided to scrap those shells and stick to my Italian meringue method since it seemed to be foolproof.

My game plan to turn lychee and watermelon into a macaron flavour was to create a concentrate from watermelon and lychee juice, incorporate that into my Italian meringue buttercream, and then also create a gelée centre of watermelon, and lychee jelly, which I felt would be a little risky since macarons are extremely sensitive to water and humidity. The end result was still super delicious, although storage is very important because of how delicate these little macs are, so do not forget to store them in an airtight container and freeze them when you plan on storing them (if you don’t finish them all in one sitting).

So here is the recipe for the macaron shells here, the buttercream, and the gelée below.

Lychee and Watermelon Macaron Recipe

  • Difficulty: Advanced
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This recipe makes enough to fill 35 macarons as made in the macaron recipe above.

Ingredients

For the concentrates
240g (1 cup) lychee juice
50g (1/4 cup) sugar

1 lb (3 cups) chopped watermelon, blended and strained
1/4 cup sugar

For the buttercream
2 egg whites
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
30g (2 tbsp) water
136g (2/3 cup) butter, cut into 1″ cubes

For the gelées
120g (1/2 cup) lychee juice
3g (1/2 packet) granulated gelatin
30g (2 tbsp) cold water for blooming the gelatin
48g (1/4 cup) chopped fresh lychee

120 (1/2 cup) watermelon juice (I got this from blending and straining 150g or 1 cup watermelon chunks)
3g (1/2 packet) granulated gelatin
30g (2 tbsp) cold water for blooming the gelatin

Method
For the concentrates

1. In two separate small saucepans, add the lychee juice and sugar to one, and the watermelon juice and sugar to the other. Bring both pots to a boil and lower heat to a keep at a simmer for about 30 min or until the juice has turned into a thick syrup. Take off heat and let cool completely before using.

For the buttercream

  1. In a small saucepan on high heat, bring the sugar and water up to a boil. Have the egg whites on standby in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  2. Once the sugar syrup reaches 110C/ 230F, start whipping the egg whites to get them to a frothy stage.
  3. Once the syrup reaches 117C/243F, take off heat, and carefully pour into the side of the bowl of the whipped egg whites on low speed to prevent splashes. Once all the sugar syrup is in, turn up to medium high speed and whip until the meringue is thick and glossy and warm but not hot to the touch.
  4. Add in the butter chunks and whip until it comes together in a smooth texture.
  5. Divide into two, and add in the fruit concentrates to taste.

For the gelées

  1. In two small 6×3″ loaf tins, line the bottom and sides with some plastic wrap. Set aside.
  2. In two small bowls, add the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over to bloom the gelatin. Let it sit for about 5 min.
  3. In two separate small saucepans on high heat, bring the watermelon and lychee juice to a boil and take off heat.
  4. Add the bloomed gelatin into the juices to mix and dissolve them.
  5. Pour it into the prepared loaf tins, add the lychee pieces to the lychee gelée, and set in the fridge to chill overnight or 4 hours minimum.
  6. Cut out using the back of a piping tip or small circle cutter to place into the centre of the macaron, and cut in half if the gelée is too tall for the macaron.

Feel free to watch the video tutorial below!

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