Meyer lemon macarons with lemon curd and blackberry-thyme-Limoncello jam

I’m back with my second post investigating some more of the flavour combinations from the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2012.  Last time, I was inspired by the trends presented in the report to create my own flavour combination and ended up with Coconut-chili butternut squash soup, so this time I decided to investigate some of the McCormick chefs’ featured flavour combinations.

Right off the bat, I was excited to see the combination of Meyer lemon with lemon-thyme, Limoncello and lemon peel as lemon is one of my absolute favourite flavourings. I pretty much put lemon zest in everything, sweet or savoury!  Tarte au citron is also of my all-time favourite desserts (up there with crème brûlée) so I was happy to see that McCormick was featuring the “Ultimate lemon Tart with Limoncello blackberries” figuring with a flavour combo like that, what could go wrong?  The fact that we happen to have our own Limoncello (made with Meyer lemons) on hand (thanks Mr Neil) made this an easy choice for me.

I started out making the lemon curd. So easy!

I used the lemon curd recipe from the Flavor Forecast – it literally took me under 30 minutes to whip up.

Once I had that cooling, I set to work on the blackberries.  As soon as I saw the combination of blackberries and Limoncello with lemon-thyme, I knew I wanted to make a jam out of that. How I would work that into the tart, I would figure that out later. But those flavours were screaming to be jam-ified!  I couldn’t find lemon-thyme (fresh or dry) for the life of me so I used a combination of fresh thyme with lemon zest. Perfect!

Easy blackberry jam with Limoncello and thyme

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins

An easy blackberry jam with a twist!

Yields about a cup of jam


  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello
  • 2 teaspoons dried lemon-thyme (or 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme with 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest)


  1. Combine blackberries, sugar, Limoncello, thyme and zest in a medium heavy saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the blackberries begin to soften a little.
  3. Use a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break up the fruit.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 minutes.
  5. The jam won't be as firm as you think it should be but it will definitely firm up once it cools down.


As soon as I had finished making the jam and curd (and, errr… tasting it!), all thoughts of making lemon tarts flew out of my head because I knew this would make the PERFECT filling for macarons.  I’ve been playing with macaron fillings lately and have been looking to jazz up my flavour combinations. Lemon macarons (with a hint of zest in the shell and filled with lemon cream cheese frosting) are my “go-to” macarons if people ask me to make them (and one of my standards in the macaron classes I teach at Le Dolci in Toronto) and I knew that this would up the flavour ante tenfold.

I was very gentle filling the macarons  as I didn’t want to risk over-filling them – it might have made the delicate shells collapse under the weight. But by being very light-handed on the blackberry jam (which was a fairly strong flavour), they worked perfectly.

all packed up and ready to share with my students at Le Dolci on Sunday!

And the flavour?

Wow – these really pack a punch. The tartness of the lemon mixed with the sweet blackberries and the earthy thyme is a fabulous combination and one I’ll try again. The boozy jam is genius and inside the macaron, it solidified a little making for a delightful, chewy jelly-like surprise.  I am so happy to have tried something I might never have thought of – the thyme with lemon and now  I am definitely on the hunt for the McCormick dried lemon-thyme – I can think of so many dishes (both sweet and savoury) where it would work so well.

I’m submitting these macarons to this month”s Mactweets because, thanks to McCormick’s Flavor Forecast 2012, they really do have “an unexpected combination of flavours to wow!”

For more inspiration, please be sure to visit the McCormick Flavor Forecast.

Disclosure: I was provided with compensation as well as a kit of herbs, spices and other ingredients featured in the McCormick Flavour Forecast 2012 in exchange for writing two posts about the Flavor Forecast. All opinions are 100% my own.

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97 Responses to Meyer lemon macarons with lemon curd and blackberry-thyme-Limoncello jam

  1. Cher January 25, 2012 at 18:44 #

    Wow! So that’s what the lemon curd was for. I’m in love with those cookies 🙂

  2. rosita vargas January 25, 2012 at 18:55 #

    woooowww ….lucen perfectos una maravilla me encantan,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  3. Evan Thomas January 25, 2012 at 18:56 #

    These sound delicious! I guess I wouldn’t expect less from the queen of macarons 🙂

  4. Mr. Neil January 25, 2012 at 18:58 #

    These were a DELIGHT. I mean, I will admit to having become a macaron snob, of course…loved these.

    My only nitpic is the small seeds in the jam, which I always grumble about (raspberry, etc).

    But as far as flavour (not Flavor, Mr. McCormick!) these were spot on.

    Of course, the home-made Limoncello was the extra-special touch, right? 😉

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 28, 2012 at 21:37 #

      Next time I think I would strain the jam so no seeds! And of course the homemade Limoncello was the best!

  5. Choc Chip Uru January 25, 2012 at 19:07 #

    Besides the wonderful photography, the recipe itself is absolutely brilliant – the flavours and colour combinations are fantastic!!!
    You have a heavenly blog 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Two Tone Choc-Blueberry Cheesecake

  6. Marina January 25, 2012 at 19:51 #

    Wow, beautiful! I have some lemon curd, need to learn from you how to make those macarons.

  7. Happy When Not Hungry January 25, 2012 at 20:04 #

    These macarons are gorgeous! I just love the flavors too.

  8. Kiri W. January 25, 2012 at 20:47 #

    Oh wow, these must have such an intense and unusual flavor! I also love the color contrast between the jam and the macarons 🙂 Looks and sounds fantastic!

  9. Jessica | Oh Cake January 25, 2012 at 20:58 #

    These sound luscious and look absolutely gorgeous!

  10. Kim Nichols January 25, 2012 at 21:32 #

    I will be dreaming of these tonight. I’m truly grateful.

  11. Kim Bee January 25, 2012 at 21:45 #

    Oh wow, these look really good. I can just imagine the taste. Your photos are as stunning as always.

  12. raquel@erecipe January 26, 2012 at 01:20 #

    these look more than perfect! I’m in love and I wish I could’ve tried them. the word divinde suits these beauties, I’m sure!

  13. ck January 26, 2012 at 08:03 #

    Even just the name takes my breath away! They look and sound amazing. Brilliant! What a combination. Well done Mardi. I want a job as taste tester for you!

  14. Vicki Bensinger January 26, 2012 at 09:15 #

    These look positively wonderful. I can taste them just by viewing your photo. Plus the ingredients sound fantastic! I’ve been working on perfecting macarons, hopefully I get them down to perfection soon. Lemon with lemon curd sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Paula January 26, 2012 at 11:24 #

    Delicious flavour combinations Mardi and the macarons look beautiful. I know your class must have loved them and your lesson for the day. The photographs of these are really wonderful.

  16. Rochelle (@AcquiredLife) January 26, 2012 at 12:28 #

    I’ve been playing with lemon curd a lot lately (we have lemons all year here), but have yet to do a macaron since the ones we did for daring bakers a loooong time ago. I’ve actually been meaning to with the curd. Now I want to do it even more :). Oh and that blackberry thyme jam… um.. yeah that has to be made even if I don’t do the macs.

  17. Sarah@SarahCupcake January 26, 2012 at 13:48 #

    Oh my gosh! These are adorable! Love how you shaped them into little meyer lemons, and the blackberry thyme jam looks to-die-for! I can’t wait to go back to Costco and buy another huge box of meyer lemons. I used them in a tart not too long ago, but I really wanted to make a macaron. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 26, 2012 at 13:49 #

    These are so lovely… And, I really love the combination of flavors! I bet that jam is pretty amazing on its own, too. 🙂

  19. Adriana January 26, 2012 at 14:28 #

    Mardi, these pictures are gorgeous. I love the whimsy touch of the thyme sprigs and the zest flecks.

  20. Sarah-Jane January 26, 2012 at 20:23 #

    going to bookmark your recipe – love the sound of the flavour combination and have a lovely bottle of homemade limoncello in the cupboard

  21. Ann January 27, 2012 at 00:14 #

    These are absolutely brilliant! I love the flavor combination of lemon and blackberry and your photos are just stunning!

  22. Jenn January 27, 2012 at 05:06 #

    These sound and look amazing! Genius to use lemon curd 🙂

  23. Katherine Martinelli January 27, 2012 at 05:19 #

    Each element of these is just incredible. I can’t even imagine how incredible they are! Congrats on making the Foodbuzz Top 9!

  24. Lora January 27, 2012 at 10:16 #

    Blackberry & Lemon – wat a luscious combo for a mac. Mouth. Watering.

  25. Geraldine Saucier January 27, 2012 at 10:39 #

    What great flavor combinations:) I love the use of Blackberries with thyme. Congratulations on the Foodbuzz Top 9.

  26. Jill @ MadAboutMacarons January 27, 2012 at 10:51 #

    Love lemon and thyme but add the limoncello and blackberries and whoosh – fabulous, Mardi! Beautiful shots, too.

  27. Ruth January 27, 2012 at 12:02 #

    Omg! Those flavors must be delicious and so elegant! Congrats on the Foodbuzz top 9! You deserve it!

  28. The Supper Model January 27, 2012 at 12:45 #

    Oh this is a dream! A wintery food dream! Love

  29. LauraD January 27, 2012 at 13:45 #

    These look amazing! I love lemon desserts (and macarons)

  30. Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out January 27, 2012 at 16:29 #

    Wow! I have never had macarons before, but have been itching to try them. I love lemon anything and blackberry anything, and I cannot imagine how great these must be!

  31. Linda Polak January 27, 2012 at 16:41 #

    Mardi, I’m like you- I ADORE lemon. These look amazing. I love a strong tart lemon flavour. Like the thyme addition- sounds very intriguing. I have to try that flavour combination.

  32. FreeSpiritEater January 27, 2012 at 20:37 #

    Wow! Gorgeous photos! Congratulations on Top 9!! Buzzed your post! Have a fabulous weekend =]

  33. Sandie January 27, 2012 at 22:35 #

    Those look amazing! The jam is awe inspiring… I must try these

  34. Rose January 28, 2012 at 07:35 #

    It seems like everywhere I look I see recipes calling for Meyer Lemons. I think I need to do a little research and see if I can find some here in Germany. Your macarons look delicious, but then, I’m a sucker for lemon desserts in most any form.

  35. Lynda January 28, 2012 at 19:43 #

    These sounds and look fantastic. Lemon and blackberries are a great combination.

  36. penny aka jeroxie January 29, 2012 at 05:24 #

    oh YUmmm! Will you be opening a macaron shop soon?

  37. Gina January 29, 2012 at 12:19 #

    Just bookmarked this, I made a lemon blackberry combo last year that I still remember well. I’ve been wanting to try lemon macs and I think this would send them over the top. I was a little worried about the moisture factor of using curd in the filling, but I don’t think they will last long enough for that to be a problem. Thanks for this great recipe. Hope you have a great weekend.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 13, 2012 at 09:44 #

      No they certainly don’t last long enough for the curd to be a problem. Also, I keep them in the fridge – that helps a little with the moisture issue.

  38. Annapet January 29, 2012 at 13:10 #

    I’m loving the fillings, Mardi!

  39. Tami January 29, 2012 at 20:08 #

    Wow, these sound utterly divine Mardi. Re: the macaron fillings, got this book Zumbo (http://adrianozumbo.com/zumbo-book/) for a Christmas present. Has some amazing ganache recipes in it eg. red wine ganache. Needless to say, you were the first person I thought of when I saw it – Mr Neil was second!!!

    Will email you some of the weird ganache recipes he has for his zumborons (does in exchange for the Limoncello recipe sound like a deal I could make!!!!!!!!!!)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 13, 2012 at 09:44 #

      I WANT the Zumbo book. VERY much!!!!

      • Tami February 13, 2012 at 21:27 #

        You would totally love it Mardi…….it’s amazing what Adriano does with his delights. Am enjoying wathcing his TV series at the moment :))

        Invested in a new printer on the weekend, so some recipes headed your way soon.

  40. Michelle January 30, 2012 at 07:52 #

    I am so impressed with these macaroons. I wonder if I have the talent to make them, but I sure would like to learn more about it!

  41. Lauren at Keep It Sweet January 30, 2012 at 12:57 #

    These are gorgeous!

  42. Pauline January 30, 2012 at 17:31 #

    Great combo, I get asked for chocolate all the time but I would rather have lemon , and limoncello of course. Do you think it tastes healthier? Hehe sounds good though:-)

  43. Ola February 1, 2012 at 05:18 #

    they look just perfect!

  44. cat February 4, 2012 at 12:11 #

    this post looks like a magazine spread – gorgeous! and i think this might be the best combination for macarons yet.

  45. Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) February 13, 2012 at 11:29 #

    Well dome Mardi. These are beautiful and certainly do pack a punch. Love the exciting flavours.

  46. Nami February 21, 2012 at 23:06 #

    Hi Mardi! I came here from Jill’s site. These macarons are amazing! I love Meyer lemon and I would love to have this over my regular favorite chocolate sweets. What a fabulous looking dessert!

  47. Kate @ FoodBabbles March 20, 2012 at 20:46 #

    These sound incredible Mardi!! Oh my goodness! I’m amazed by your creativity. Yum! Another amazing batch of macarons.

  48. Stephanie December 13, 2012 at 03:42 #

    I have just stumbled onto your website after stalking Jill! I love it! I am making these for Christmas this year! i will let you know how they are received!


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