I made this delicious “Coconut Lemon Bar” recipe in December using Meyer Lemons from my backyard citrus fruit tree. The combination of lemons, coconut and walnuts on a buttery crust made a great holiday dessert. These bars can easily be adapted for Passover and so I decided to make this dessert for our “virtual” Seder meal coming up this week.
My bumper crop of Meyer lemons this winter sent me searching for recipes and ways to use them.The recipe for “Coconut Lemon Bars” has been hiding out in my recipe file box for many years. I have in my notes that it is from a college friend in Indiana in the late 1980’s. We both attended Manchester College which was west of Fort Wayne in a very rural area of Indiana. I must have been visiting her for a college reunion. I was always jealous of the walnut tree full of walnuts in her backyard. Free walnuts! Well she doesn’t have Meyer Lemons. These lemons are from my backyard.
Although I am not particularly fond of coconut, the combination of a lemon bar with coconut and walnuts is delicious. And a lemon glaze swirled on top gives an extra lemony flavor to the bars.
Coconut Lemon Bars for Passover
This recipe is easily adapted for Passover. Rather than using all-purpose flour to make the crust, I substituted matzo meal and almond meal/flour. The rest of the ingredients remain the same. I used lemon juice concentrate rather than a fresh lemon for juice and skipped the lemon zest.
To make the recipe, cut the butter into the matzo meal and almond meal/flour with two forks until the size of small peas.
Press into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.
Bake the crust. Then mix the ingredients for the topping and pour over the crust. Bake longer.
Let the bars cool. Then drizzle a lemon and powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) glaze over top. Immediately sprinkle on additional shredded coconut. The glaze dries quickly.
Cut and serve. These will keep for several days. Make ahead.
This makes a tasty dessert for a Seder dinner. I plan to freeze most of this batch and take them to Houston once our travel ban and “stay at home” order is lifted to share with relatives there.
This are very unusual times — nothing like we have experienced. At this time of the year, family and traditions are important. However, we will adapt and find new ways to celebrate. Hope you do too!
Coconut Lemon Bars for Passover
Ingredients for crust:
- 3/4 cup Matzo meal
- 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup soft butter
Ingredients for bars:
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon peel (optional)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1-1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Ingredients for lemon glaze:
- 1 – 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel (optional)
- 2/3 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine matzo meal, almond meal/flour, sugar and salt in medium-size bowl and mix to combine.
- Cut butter into dry ingredients with 2 folks until the size of small peas. Press into ungreased 8″ x 8″ baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes.
- In same medium-size bowl, mix eggs, lemon juice, lemon peel (optional), brown sugar, 1 cup coconut and walnuts.
- Spread over baked crust and bake for 25 – 30 minutes longer.
- Remove from oven. Loosen edges while still warm. Let cool to room temperature.
- Combine 1 Tbsp lemon juice, lemon peel (optional), and confectioner’s in another small bowl. Beat with wire whip to combine. If too stiff, add an additional 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over baked bars.
- Sprinkle with additional 1/4 cup coconut.
- Cut into 16 bars. May be made ahead of time.
NOTE: Original recipe uses 1 cup all-purpose flour in place of matzo meal and almond almond meal/flour.
The blooming Iris in my backyard remind me that spring has arrived!