Delicious French delicacies - macaroons with a homemade fresh apricot and lavender filling.
Preheat the oven to 155'C.
Whisk the egg whites to semi whipped, add 150g caster sugar and the food colouring. Whisk until you have a stiff and glossy meringue mixture.
Place the icing sugar and the almond powder in a blender. Blitz and then sieve this mixture into a bowl to ensure that you have a very fine, lump-free powder.
Incorporate the dry ingredients into the meringue mixture. Use a spatula to cut and fold the mixture until is smooth, shiny and ribbon-like.
Fill a piping bag with the macaroon mix and pipe the macaroons onto a lined baking tray. Leave the macaroons to dry slightly for 15minutes at room temperature and then bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
If you cannot get hold of edible lavender sugar, make your own by mixing a few lavender flowers into some caster sugar and allowing to infuse - leave for a good couple of days before making the macaroons.
Wash, stone and quarter the apricots.
Halve the vanilla pod and use the back of a knife to scrape out the seeds.
Place the apricots in a pan with the lemon juice, vanilla seeds and the vanilla pod. Add the sugar and the pectin and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft.
Place in a blender and blitz.
Add the edible lavender sugar and mix well before putting in the fridge to chill.
Fill half of the macaroon shells with the apricot and lavender compote and then place in the fridge to firm up before serving.
«If you can't hold of fresh apricots, apricots preserved in syrup can be used. Simply drain them well and then reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes. Edible lavender sugar is available in most large supermarkets.»