Today marks the first official day of spring, and New York City is celebrating the change in seasons with a local temperature of a sweltering 44ºF. Forget the spring showers, we’re all about the spring hail-slash-gale force winds. But there’s no time to begrudge March’s identity crisis.
I’ve been filling every free minute of this past week with preparations for a much-anticipated vacation that begins this Friday. Destination: Dubai! I’m heading east, as in a 14-hour flight east, to visit my sister and brother-in-law for the week, and you better believe there will be many an Instagram and Tweet of the culinary adventures that ensue.
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Now on to these golden nests of chewy coconut and fresh fruit. Whether you’re planning the perfect Passover feast, entertaining family and friends on Easter Sunday, or just need an excuse for your taste buds to travel to the tropics, look no further than easy coconut macaroons topped with a dollop of sweet and tangy homemade pineapple jam.
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For the pineapple jam:
- 2 cups grated fresh pineapple, with juice (See Kelly's Notes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
For the macaroons:
- 6 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make the jam:
- Combine the grated pineapple (and any juice) with the water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and cook it for 30 minutes until soft.
- Stir in the sugar and lime juice and continue cooking the mixture for 45 to 60 minutes until it has thickened.
- Transfer the jam to a bowl to cool while you prepare the macaroons.
Make the macaroons:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Use a small spoon to scoop out roughly 3 tablespoons of the mixture. Press it loosely into a ball, and then using your thumb (or the back side of a ¼ teaspoon), make an indent in the center to form a well, which the pineapple jam will later fill.
- Place each of the small rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Remove the macaroons from the oven. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the sheet tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Scoop 2 teaspoons of the prepared jam into the centers of the macaroons and serve.
- Grating the pineapple means the you won't have to bust out the blender to end up with a thick but spreadable jam. But it's important to grate the pineapple inside a baking dish or deep plate so you can catch all of the juices.
- Any leftover pineapple jam can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
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