It only took about three years for me to finally get around to testing out Pierre Hermé's Macarons cookbook. Call it procrastination if you like, but more than likely it was really macaron burnout on my part. To say that I was maniacally obsessed with these French petit fours a few years ago is an understatement; I was a fanatic and making them constantly. It was great for my co-workers because I was bringing the macaron trials in to the office but after I found a fairly reliable recipe I stopped pretty much cold turkey.
So what brought me out of hibernation after more than a year? My brother's order of 200+ macarons in six different flavors. Yikes! I had been putting his order off for a few months and it finally got to the point where I couldn't delay any further.
Up until that point I was using a macaron recipe that was French meringue based, i.e., no sugar syrup required. Yes, it had its ups and downs but all the Italian meringue based recipes I previously made were far too sweet. It probably wasn't the most opportune time to try a new Italian meringue recipe, even if it was Pierre Hermé's, but I figured if not now, then when?
My first attempt had to be Pierre's pistachio macarons, my absolute favorite flavor. In hindsight had I known how fantastic and consistent his recipe was I would have converted ages ago! Hermé is all about the filling which is where the real flavor of the macaron comes from and I couldn't agree more. For the pistachio ganache I found this fantastic pure pistachio paste online that was 100% nuts, no added sugar. Even better the company is based in the Central Valley of Northern California, miles from where I grew up!
I highly encourage you to give this recipe a try if you want professional looking macarons from your own kitchen!