Ok, I’ve been terrible about posting. It’s been such a busy summer with nearly every weekend out of town and I admit, I’ve totally slacked off on the blogging. The good thing about all the traveling (besides seeing friends and family!) was getting to try more macarons! If you’ve been following pixelated crumb at all, you know that I’ve been searching (here and here) for the best stateside macaron.
While we were in DC a week and a half ago to celebrate my dad’s birthday, we went to Praline in Bethesda, MD. The chef who instructed my pastry class at L’Academie de Cuisine about 4 years ago told us that Praline had the only decent brioche in the DC area, so it seemed like a good bet that they would have good macarons.
Praline doesn’t sell macarons individually — you have to buy at least 6 and they come prepacked in a little cellophane bag. They had a bag with all hazelnut which seemed boring when you could get a vibrant, colorful bag filled with hazelnut, lime, pistachio, raspberry, chocolate, and apricot (can you guess which one I got?).
There were 4 of us (my parents, Joseph, and me) so we just got one bag and then I painstakingly cut each one into 4 pieces. Folks, it is not easy to cut a macaron. It’s one thing to cut them in half, but to cut them into quarters? The light, airy meringues are too fragile for cutting and they crumble at the mere sight of a knife. I’m sure any Frenchman/woman would shutter at the thought of cutting a macaron, but what were we going to do, buy 4 bags and each eat 6 of these suckers? That actually doesn’t sound like a bad plan….
The others were extraordinarily patient while I cut each one and took about 50 shots of the macarons. It was worth the wait though. We started with the pistachio which wasn’t bad by any means, but neither was it spectacular. The lime was refreshing not just because of its light, yummy tanginess, but also because I hadn’t had a lime macaron before. The apricot was also a fun flavor which we all enjoyed. But I think everyone was especially blown away by the hazelnut with the rich, creamy ganache center. The chocolate macaron was equally luxurious. Served with some nice mint tea that my brother-in-law brought back from Jordan, this was one excellent afternoon snack.