Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel


 
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie
Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie

Hi hi! I am currently sitting in the middle of Toronto airport - my sister, Rich, and I are waiting for our connecting flight to Vancouver Island, where we will spend the next 10 days with family! I am so, so excited, and so ready for a wee break - it will also be peak fruit season, so I see a slab pie or two happening in the near future!

This Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel is a little something that Jase and I whipped up a few weeks ago. Cherry pie is a fave of mine (I mean, I love all pie, but cherry is pretty high up there), and we amped it up a little by adding a brown butter oat streusel, which adds the most amazing crunch and texture to the edges, making it just a teeny bit more exciting than your average slab pie. I love slab pies for a whole lot of reasons - for starters they are amazing for feeding a crowd, but because they are a little shallower than your standard pie, you get the most amazing ratio of fruit filling to flaky pastry.

There’s not too many wee tips for this one - it’s a super simple pie, with the filling following the fruit, sugar, starch formula. When the fruit is good, you really don’t need much else. I can see this cherry pie happening at least a couple more times this stone fruit season!

A few wee tips:

  • For the pie dough, make the quantity listed twice (so make two batches of dough) rather than doing it all in one big batch. It makes it much easier to handle and greatly reduces the likelihood of over working the dough, which can give you a tough crust. You only need one quantity of water though, don’t double that.

  • I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a rectangle. I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.

  • Cherry pie can be a little wet, so you want to leave this to set up completely before you cut into it - it’s hard to wait but it is worth it, I promise!

  • We added the streusel onto the pie after about 20 min in the oven to ensure that it didn’t brown too much before the pie did, which would have resulted in burnt streusel and pale pie dough.

  • You can also leave the streusel off if you would like, and just make the cherry slab pie.

 

 

Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel

- Makes one 9” x 13” slab pie -

Pie Dough (see notes for instructions - make this twice to yield two larger crusts)
375g flour
2 tsp sugar
Pinch of Salt
225g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup ice
240g cold water
60g Apple cider vinegar

Brown Butter Oat Streusel
225g butter
200g light brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g flour
80g old fashioned oats

Cherrry Filling
1500g cherrries, pitted and halved
420g raw sugar
120g tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Turbinado Sugar to finish (optional)

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Combine the ice, water, and cider vinegar in a bowl and stir lightly to combine. Place cups flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir lightly to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into a rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. 

Repeat the process again. Place both rectangles of dough in the fridge to rest for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.

 

BROWN BUTTER OAT STREUSEL

Place the butter in a small pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, until the butter begins to foam, smells nutty, and goes a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine. Using your hands, break up any large lumps.

ASSEMBLY

Have a quarter sheet pan (9" x 13" baking sheet) ready.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the rectangles of dough into a shape slightly larger than your sheet pan. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line the pan, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Fold the overlapping edge under itself, pressing down with your fingers to seal. This creates a border which helps prevent the edges of the pie from shrinking. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice. Wrap any offcuts of dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.

Roll out the second piece of dough, and cut lattice strips - we did an angled lattice and a braided edge. Place cut out lattice pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until needed.

In a large bowl, combine the cherries, sugar, tapioca starch, and salt. Transfer to the pastry lined sheet pan. Top with lattice strips. Trim back any overhanging pastry, and either crimp the edge or add a braided border, fixing down with a little egg wash.

Transfer the pie to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

While the pie is resting in the fridge,  preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven. Brush the pie with eggwash and sprinkle generously with extra raw sugar. Place on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has set and is beginning to go golden. Remove from the oven, and add the prepared streusel around the edge of the pie. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, return the pie to the oven, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Cherry Slab Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel - a thick cherry slab pie is topped with a layer of flaky pastry and finished with a brown butter oat streusel that gives the most perfect crunch. #slabpie #streusel #cherrypie #cherryslabpie

Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with White Chocolate Dip and Brown Butter Streusel


 
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.
Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.

Happy nearly 4th of July! Summer is in full swing round here, which means that it’s super hot and sweaty, but it also means that it’s prime stone fruit season! Peaches have just started to pop up at the market, which I am super excited about, as they are one of my absolute faves. I love them fresh, but also can’t resist them tucked into a hand pie, thrown onto the grill and served with ice cream, or in this case, roasted up and added to a Quark ice cream pop!

If you haven’t heard of Quark before, now is the time to try it. I have had it in New Zealand before but hadn’t come across it here until recently, via Wunder Creamery! It is a cultured milk product similar in texture to greek yoghurt, but without as much tanginess. I love it - it is thick and smooth, and perfect for both sweet and savoury applications. I’ve got a couple of tubs stashed in my fridge leftover from this project and mixed some with some peanut butter the other day to make a wee dip. Baking wise it’s the dream ingredient - it has the thickness and richness of yoghurt but because it doesn’t have as much tang, it’s perfectly mild so super versatile. I’ve been using it in the place of yoghurt or sour cream in a few recipes and love how it performs! Wunder Creamery is based in upstate New York using grass-fed milk from family owned farms. As someone who grew up on the good stuff (if you’ve ever had any dairy products from New Zealand you will know what I mean), I was so excited to try this, and it most definitely passed the test!

It also worked so, so perfectly in this recipe as a base for these ice cream pops! I roasted up some peaches and pureed them, then stirred it through a quark based mixture before churning it in my ice cream machine and setting it in a pop mould. I kept the base simple - I added some heavy cream to help thin the mixture out and bump up the fat content a little to avoid ice, a tiny bit of sugar for sweetness, some vanilla bean, and some honey, which I found paired so well with the quark. Frozen Yoghurt / Quark based ice cream bases can potentially turn a little icy, so adding an invert sugar (either honey or corn syrup or golden syrup) helps to prevent the formation of the ice and keep the mixture nice and smooth.

The roasted peach pops were delicious plain, but I couldn’t help adding a little something to them, so I dipped them half way in a white chocolate dip, then loaded up the dipped half with a brown butter streusel. Streusel is one of my favourite things to add, and browning the butter and then also baking the streusel really helps to add another dimension of flavour, while also giving you a nice crunch on the outside of the pop. You definitely don’t have to add the chocolate dip and streusel if you don’t want to, but I highly recommend. I usually end up making a double batch of the streusel to add to other things!

A few wee tips:

  • You need an ice cream maker for this - mine connects to my stand mixer. Make sure that you freeze the bowl overnight first.

  • If you wanted to make this just as a regular ice cream, you could layer the quark ice cream base and the streusel in a loaf pan with some white chocolate chips, and then swirl everything together to have it as a scoopable quark ice cream.

  • These are the pop moulds that I use! They are silicone, and they release so, so nicely!

  • I roasted the peaches and made the streusel the same day as the ice cream base, then froze the pops overnight and assembled the next day.

 

 

Roasted Peach and Quark Pops with White Chocolate Dip and Brown Butter Streusel

- Makes about 12 pops -

Roasted Peaches
800g fresh, ripe peaches, pit removed and cut into eighths
100g raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt

Quark Ice Cream
900g Wunder Creamery Quark
200g heavy cream
145g sugar
50g honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
400g roasted peach puree

Brown Butter Streusel
160g unsalted butter, cubed
200g Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
230g all-purpose flour

White Chocolate Dip
300g white chocolate, chopped
60g neutral oil such as grapeseed or sunflower

- PROCESS -

ROASTED PEACHES

Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the peach segments, sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt, and toss to combine. Spread evenly over the baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes, until the peaches are soft and beginning to caramelise. Allow to cool on the pan before removing the skins from the segments, then blend on high speed using a blender or stick blender. Chill until ready to use.

QUARK ICE CREAM

Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the peach puree. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for 2-3 hours.

Whisk in 400g of the peach puree, and then churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions on your ice cream maker. Divide between the ice cream pop moulds. If there is extra ice cream left over, leave to set in a small container.

Smooth off the moulds using an offset spatula. Add sticks. Place the moulds onto a sheet pan and freeze until solid, ideally overnight.

BROWN BUTTER STREUSEL

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place the butter in a small pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, until the butter begins to foam, smells nutty, and goes a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine. Using your hands, break up any large lumps. Spread evenly over the baking sheet, and bake until lightly golden and toasty, 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


WHITE CHOCOLATE DIP

Create a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Place the white chocolate and the neutral oil in the bowl, and stir well, heating until the mixture is smooth and cohesive. Remove the bowl from the pot, ensuring no water gets into the mixture, and set aside to cool to 37˚c / 98˚f. Transfer to a narrow jar or glass which is wide enough and deep enough to dunk your ice cream pops.

ASSEMBLY

Place a sheet pan lined with a silpat or baking paper into the freezer. Carefully unmould the ice cream pops, and place back into the freezer while you prepare and cool the white chocolate dip. 

Place the streusel in a bowl, and place a piece of parchment paper down to catch excess streusel.

Working with one at a time, dip an ice cream pop into the jar of the white chocolate dip, so that half of it is dipped. Immediately remove the pop from the dip, allow a little excess to drip off, then sprinkle the chocolate dipped section liberally with the streusel. Place onto the sheet pan in the freezer.

Repeat with the remainder of the pops.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.

Roasted Peach and Quark Ice Cream Pops with white chocolate dip and brown butter streusel. These are the perfect summer treat - creamy quark, roasted peaches and toasty brown butter streusel.

Thank you so much to Wunder Creamery for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons (Strawberry Macarons with Cream Cheese German Buttercream and Streusel)


 
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron
Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron

Summer is definitely here, and with that comes strawberry season! For this month’s Mac recipe, Jase and I channeled an American summer classic (I think, non-American making sweeping generalisations here but from what I’ve seen I think that’s right), and made strawberry shortcake inspired macarons! As per usual, we kept the shell plain - we have learnt the hard way a few times (looking at you, blueberry shells) that unless you’re adding something like a tiny bit of cocoa to the shell, you’re best off sticking with a plain flavoured shell, and incorporating all your flavour on the inside. Macarons are already finicky enough as it is without having to worry about tweaking the recipe of the shell each time.

We then added the Strawberry shortcake element on the inside, with a super easy strawberry filling, a pie crumb, and a cream cheese German buttercream, which is a total fave of mine. The strawberry provided amazing flavour, and coupled with the creamy and slightly tangy buttercream and crunchy brown butter pie crumb, it made for, in my opinion, the perfect bite.

We did get a wee bit fancy with the styling and mixed it up a bit, making a few different colours, but these would be great done just in one colour too. I have added how we split up the mixture to colour it in the notes. We also did something a bit different this time and added all the leftovers into a churned ice cream base to make the most delicious strawberry shortcake macaron ice cream - stay tuned for the recipe!

A few wee tips:

  • All my mac tips are in this post!

  • We actually made two batches of macs for these - the first batch we did half solid pink, and the second half we painted the inside of the piping bag with a little gel food colouring so that it came out swirly. The second batch we coloured half a soft pink and left half white, and added sprinkles - I got these ones from etsy and I love them.

  • We also coloured some of the buttercream - you can really do anything you want here!

  • Make sure that you give the strawberry filling time to chill. It will be quite thick - we wanted it to be a little thicker so that it stayed inside the macs nicely.

 

 

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons (Strawberry Macarons with Cream Cheese German Buttercream and Streusel)

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 
Pie crumb recipe from 
Milk Bar

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Gel Food Colouring, optional (We used ‘soft pink’ by americolor)

Pie Crumb
220g all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
115g unsalted butter, browned
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp water

Strawberry Filling
400g trimmed and quartered strawberries
120g water
125g sugar
Juice of half a lemon
3 Tbsp corn starch

Cream Cheese German Buttercream
110g sugar
12g corn starch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
190g whole milk
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g cream cheese, at room temperature

 

- PROCESS -

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300°f / 150°c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add pink gel food colour a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. Sprinkle with sprinkles, if using.

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth.

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

PIE CRUMB

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Add the butter and water and mix on low until clustered. 

Spread the mixture on the tray, and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Break up into smaller clumps during the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will firm up a lot during cooling). Store in an airtight container until ready to use

STRAWBERRY FILLING

Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, mashing with a potato masher as the mixture begins to warm.

Switch to a rubber spatula and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until it has thickened. Transfer to a container and allow to cool completely.

CREAM CHEESE GERMAN BUTTERCREAM

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then add the egg, egg yolk and salt, and whisk together well. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan. 

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Add in the cream cheese, and whip until smooth, then whip for a further 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on low for 3-4 minutes to help remove any big air bubbles.

ASSEMBLY

Place the buttercream into piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice - we used a large round tip for the macarons with the pie crumb and a large french star tip for the macs with the sprinkles.

Pair up the macarons into pairs of equal sizes.

Pipe a ring of buttercream on one half of the macaron, and place a blob of the strawberry filling into the centre. Top with the second shell, pressing down lightly. Add the pie crumb to the sides if desired.

Chill the macarons briefly to allow the buttercream to set. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Strawberry shortcake macarons - French Macaron shells are filled with a strawberry filling, cream cheese german buttercream, and finished with a brown butter pie crumb crunch. These encompass summer in every bite. #strawberryshortcake #piecrumb #strawberrymacaron