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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Using Meyer Lemon and Pineapple Marmalade - Cookie Bars and Pie!

 Miss Madelyn and Meyer Lemon Pie

My neighborhood is beautiful right now. Most of the leaves have fallen and the Sun is shining through to warm the ground, even on chilly days. The winter garden is humming along and contributed a butternut squash and collards for our Thanksgiving table. One of the splendid things about California winters is citrus. Delicious, wonderful, spectacular citrus. I learned to make marmalade a couple of winters ago and I've finally used up all those experiments. Now it's time to make some more! 

One of my favorites is Meyer Lemon and Pineapple Marmalade. I have a little dwarf Meyer Lemon in a pot on my back patio and I'll get about two dozen. I was lucky enough to receive a big bag of them from a work friend a couple of weeks ago. I'm so happy to share the results when people share their fruit. With this great bounty, I've made one batch of marmalade, a batch of yummy cookie bars and a cream pie. 

When I'm not cooking, I'm teaching county employees about administering social services programs. My lemon-benefactor is a student in my most recent class. (Thanks, Graciela!) Because we had so many chats about the marmalade, I wanted to be able to give everyone in class a taste. These cookie bars came to mind. They are based on this recipe for Orange Marmalade Bars. This cookie base is just great. I've used several kinds of jams and toppings. Just use the crust recipe and top with a half-pint jar of your favorite marmalade or jam and top with a suitable topping. I used shredded coconut with the Meyer Lemon and Pineapple Marmalade. Perfecto!

This Meyer Lemon and Pineapple pie was inspired by Sarah over at Undercover Caterer. Her Nana used to make this Lime Pie. It looked so good and I had so many lemons, I decided to try it out with them instead of limes. I used a pre-baked pie shell from this recipe. (Somehow, my crust developed to make three crusts. Two bottoms and a top.) I made the filling as instructed by Sarah, but the filling was a little soft. I was concerned that there wasn't enough acidity in the Meyer Lemon juice to cause the sweetened condensed milk to get firm. I ended up adding half a small carton on mascarpone cheese in the filling and whipped the rest into the whipped cream later. Because I had some lemon and pineapple marmalade on hand, I used it to decorate the top. It is very rich, but delicious! I will be making this one again!

Meyer Lemon and Pineapple Pie (Thanks to Sarah's Nana!)
1 prepared pie crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
grated zest of two Meyer Lemons
1/2 cup Meyer Lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 cup crushed pineapple, squeezed dry
1 8 oz. carton of mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Add the milk, zest, juice, 1/2 of the mascarpone and salt. Whisk until well blended. Add in the pineapple. Continue to whisk until the filling thickens. Scrape into the prepared crust and chill. The pie will continue to set as it chills. For serving, whip the heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Add the remaining mascarpone in several spoonfuls, allowing the mascarpone to incorporate. Whip in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread on top of the filling and decorate with additional lemon zest and lemon marmalade, if you have it.

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