What if I'm at 4,500 feet above sea-level?
Kathryn Gordon and Jessie Riley visited Chef Rebecca Millican and baked macarons together near Salt Lake City, Utah. Here are their results:
1) Easiest Macaron Method: a) decrease the granulated sugar to 125 grams from 150 grams; b) pipe after 1 hour hydration but air dry the skin/crust at room temperature for an additional hour; and c) bake on one sheetpan at 255F for 20 minutes!!!
2) Italian Meringue Macaron Method: a) decrease the granulated sugar to 125 grams from 150 grams; b) add 5 grams powdered egg whites to the dry ingredients; c) separate the aged egg whites into 2 halves and make one half into a paste with the dry ingredients; d) make a soft-medium peak meringue with the remaining half of the egg whites and the soft-ball syrup; and e) bake on one sheetpan at 325F for 13 minutes!!!
What if I'm 10,000 feet up?
Under the direction of Chef/Owner Michele Huyke, the intrepid bakers at Rimini Gelato in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado tested two of the macaron recipes for the book. Here are their notes re high altitude baking adjustments to make a successful Parisian-style macaron.
FRENCH MERINGUE BASE FOR ALMOND SHELLS:
We have made adjustments to the recipe and baking temperature and time to compensate for the altitude (7,226 feet). We found that using the base recipe provided, the macarons contained to much liquid and would bake out of the shell. We tried to leave them out for approximately 20 minutes, however that made little difference. We added more (20 g) almond flour in hope to create more structure, however found out it became dry.
NOTES FOR SUCCESS: We later added a few more grams of almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, powdered egg whites, and reduced the cream of tartar and granulated sugar.
•175 grams almond flour
•170 grams confectioners’ sugar
•Pinch of salt (kosher)
•8 grams powdered egg whites
•140 grams granulated sugar
•115 grams egg whites
•1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
We baked these at 175*F for 30-35 minutes. SUCCESS!
FRENCH MERINGUE BASE FOR COCONUT SHELLS:
When we tried the original recipe for the Coconut French meringue, they turned out perfect. We believe that the coconut absorbed the moisture. We baked these for 200*F for 25 minutes only.