Food & Drink Magazine

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom, Washington D.C ~ Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons In Celebration

By Weavethousandflavors

Washington Monument
Washington Monument 

Just this week, the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom in Washington D.C. and there is no better place to enjoy them in all their glory than at the Tidal Basin in the heart of the Nation's Capital.

Blossoms
 

The Tidal Basin

Jefferson Memorial thru the blossoms02
 
The Jefferson Memorial thru a curtain of blooms

Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The words on a plaque near one tree states, " in the spirit of friendship and goodwill between Japan and the United States were these first trees planted".

Snow blossoms
 
Snow or blossoms?

The morning off, my day began with my rather pushy mother instincts in place trying to get my kids into the shower. Fortunately the incentive of travelling on the Metro was enough for this ritual to occur without the customary wailing. 

The mother in me was in a bout of frenzy trying to get my brats out the door. The blogger in me was more than well prepared.

You see, I have been planning for this week for at least a fortnight.

What a beautiful event to commemorate and I knew it had to be at the heart of the event - at the Tidal Basin in the crush of thousands of people and it was here that I wanted to photograph this post.

Just how to translate this into food was the pressing question of the hour. And so a parade of culinary delights all celebrating cherries such as corn cakes with cherry compotes, panna cotta, duck breast with cherry and port sauce....the list goes on, was considered and rejected.

Why? For one simple logistic and one basic concept.

The treat must travel on the Metro well and must represent the beauty of the blooms.

And so after much debate the humble macaroon became the recipient of far more exotic ingredients and in my humble opinion turned itself into a treat worthy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The fact that these macaroons are delicious is not the surprising element here.

What is, is that as Mr. Hubby and I ran among the trees with a bowl of macaroons photographing on the grass, on branches and among the blooms, people began to stop and ask us what we were up to and encouraged our silly antics with lovely words, "what a creative idea and how wonderful the macaroons look" and some of the them even began scouting for best photo spots for us - urging us towards a tree whorl, or one branch or one spot.

 

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons-03
 
And soon I realised that these little delights had, just like the beautiful cherry blossom trees achieved something wonderful - for a moment, strangers as we may be, we too were joined in that spirit of friendship and goodwill.

 

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons-Ingredients
 
Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons- Prepare Ingredients
 

Gather the ingredients - dry, dessicated coconut (unsweeted), powdered sugar, sliced or chopped pistachio kernels, red glazed cherries (the kind used in fruit cake), lemon, eggs & rose water (available in Middle Eastern or Indian/Pakistani grocery stores)

Prepare the ingredients -

Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F.

Lemon- Using a zester (you know how much I love Microplane for this) zest the lemon rind and set aside.

Red Glazed Cherries - Finely chop and set aside.

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons- Ingredients in bowl
Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons- Whip egg whites

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the eggs. Using clean and dry hands break up the cherries that tend to stick together in lumps.

In a stainless steel or copper bowl, separate the egg whites. With a large wire whisk, froth and as soon as it froths, add 1/2 tsp lemon juice from a cut piece of lemon (only if using a stainless steel bowl).

Continue whipping till frothy and none of liquid egg whites remain.

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons- Fold egg whites

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons- Combined macaroon mix
 
Add to the mixing bowl and fold with a rubber spatula till throughly combined.

Line a baking tray with double layer of parchment paper.

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons- On Baking tray
 

Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and form a ball between clean palms. Place one at a time on the baking tray till the macaroon mixture is used up.

Bake in the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until the macaroons have dried out. The bottoms will be lightly golden brown. The blush on the tops will be negligible.

Allow to cool on a wire rack or a cool platter and serve.

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons-05
 

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons-06
 
Bursting with flavor, these macaroon globes are a bite of refreshing flavors with each morsel - the scent of lemon, sweetness of the cherries, the crunch from the pistachios, the exotic fragrance from the rose water come toegther in beautiful harmony against the backdrop of coconut.

Recipe for

Cherry, Pistachio & Rose Water Macaroons 

Preparation time - 10 minutes

Baking time - 10 minutes

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

Shopping list  

1 cup dry dessicated coconut, unsweetened 

1/3 cup red glazed cherries (to yield 1/4 cup + 1 tbs finely chopped)

 1/4 cup finely sliced or chopped pistachio kernels

2 tbs powdered sugar

1 tsp rose water (available in Middle Eastern & Indian grocery stores)

1 lemon (for 1-1/2 tsp zest) + 1/2 tsp lemon juice if needed (see recipe)

2 eggs - whites separated.

Preparation -

Prepare the ingredients -

Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F.

Lemon- Using a zester (you know how much I love Microplane for this) zest the lemon rind and set aside.

Red Glazed Cherries - Finely chop and set aside.

Method -

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the eggs. Using clean and dry hands break up the cherries that tend to stick together in lumps.

In a stainless steel or copper bowl, separate the egg whites. With a large wire whisk, froth and as soon as it froths, add 1/2 tsp lemon juice from a cut piece of lemon (only if using a stainless steel bowl).

Continue whipping till frothy and none of liquid egg whites remain.

Add to the mixing bowl and fold with a rubber spatula till throughly combined.

Line a baking tray with double layer of parchment paper.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and form a ball between clean palms. Place one at a time on the baking tray till the macaroon mixture is used up.

Bake in the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until the macaroons have dried out. The bottoms will be lightly golden brown. The blush on the tops will be negligible.

Allow to cool on a wire rack or a cool platter and serve.

Enjoy!

 


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