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Coconut and Berry Passover Tart

I am invited to a Passover dinner this weekend and I was asked to bake a dessert. I tried out the dessert I am going to bring for this month’s #berrylove. I brought it to a birthday party last night at our neighbor’s house and it was a huge hit!

Part of the family that we are joining is Jewish and I thought it would be nice to make something kosher and delicious for their holiday. It is fun for us to get to celebrate Passover with our friends that celebrate the holiday. Then on Sunday they celebrate Easter with us! Not too bad;)

For #berrylove month my head was spinning with recipes I could make. I was thinking of strawberry cakes and pies. In looking through one of my favorite Martha Stewart books, I found this recipe that I slightly adapted. For my friends that aren’t celebrating Passover and are dairy-free or gluten-free…this is the dessert for you!

What exactly is Passover? Passover commemorates the biblical story of Exodus, when Hebrew slaves were released from bondage in Egypt. The Passover holiday is a joyous celebration of freedom.

4/12/12 *I need to say something about this post and Passover. Apparently it takes a village to do a Passover recipe. Before you go down to my nifty Passover tips, let me warn you: This recipe may be OK for some Jewish communities to make on Passover and not for others. If you eat soy products during Passover, you can make this tart. If you do not and you are not mixing dairy and meat, go ahead and use regular cream cheese. Some of you may be cool with using corn starch. Some will not and I did make this recipe with corn starch. I have no clue what it would be like with potato starch as a replacement.

Now go ahead...keep reading. Share your thoughts. If it is not fine with your Jewish community to follow the recipe as is and you do make it with some changes, PLEASE let me know how it turns out. I'd love to see the link to your post or email me a photo and tell me all about it. :)
I’ve always wondered what you can and can’t eat during Passover. I am not Jewish and I am by far not trying to be an expert on what to eat during Passover or if you are following kosher guidelines. Please forgive any errors here.

If you are celebrating Passover, here are the foods you should avoid. I found some info on Shiksa in the Kitchen.

During Passover, Kosher guidelines are followed with some tweaks.  Some in the Jewish community stay Kosher all year round…here are the guidelines:

Because of the prohibition against unleavened bread, raw flour cannot be used during Passover. In order to be used for Passover, dough has to be thoroughly cooked within 18 minutes of the flour being mixed with water. When pasta is made, water is mixed with flour and the formed pasta is left to dry without being cooked and therefore is not allowed.

I know it must be challenging for the Italian Jews that love pasta. Luckily,  there are kosher for Passover pastas that are made with potato starch/flour.

Certain meats may not be eaten. Forbidden meats include (but are not limited to): pork, shellfish, lobster, shrimp, crab, rabbit, and seafood without fins or scales (like swordfish and sturgeon). Also, any products made with ingredients from these meats (example—pig ingredients in non-kosher gelatin) cannot be used.
Meat must not be eaten in combination with dairy. That means no butter, or cream sauce on your beef or chicken dish.

My friend Judee from Gluten Free A-Z blog pointed out to me (4/13/12) that corn starch is not kosher. She suggested I change that from the recipe to potato starch. Martha Stewart has corn starch in the recipe and has it titled as a Passover tart.

I also was speaking today (4/3/12) with my friend Shulie at Food Wanderings and she explained some segments of the Jewish community, while not the majority, do consider corn starch kosher with Passover. I will keep the ingredient list on this recipe with corn starch as Shulie explains the potato starch does not have the same result/consistency as corn starch. Shulie says it becomes goopy. I do not honestly know the result with potato starch as I used corn starch. ;) If you need your recipe to be truly kosher use potato starch instead of corn starch.

(If you want to read why corn starch is a it here. )

Fish and eggs are considered neutral. They can be served with dairy or with meat.

I learned what you can eat on Passover. Here is a list:

- Matzo in any form (matzo meal, matzo cake meal, matzo farfel)

- Any kind of fruit

- Any kind of vegetable (there is a list of some veggies that are excluded)

- Beef, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, or fish with scales.

- Eggs and egg whites

- Nuts, nut flours, and pure nut butters (no additives). Excluded on this list is: peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds.

- Dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and kefir, are acceptable as long as they are not mixed with corn syrup.
Dairy products cannot be mixed with meat.

- Quinoa. Most sources agree that quinoa is not technically a grain, and therefore it is permissible on Passover.

- Spices

- Herbs

- Broth from kosher meats and vegetable-based broth.



April is #Berry-love month! Please join in the Berry-love fun by linking up any Berry recipes from the month of April 2012.  Don't forget to link back to this post so that your readers come stop by the Berry-love event!

Co-hosting this Blog-hop with my fabulous friends listed below.Please stop-by their pages as well while you're here :)

Alittlebitofeverything ~ Roxana GreenGirl ~ @RoxanaGreenGirl BakerStreet ~ Anuradha ~ @bakerstreet29  BakingandCooking, ATaleofTwoLoves ~ Becky Higgins BigFatBaker ~ Erin Meyer ~ @bigfatbaker  Bonàcroquer ~ Valerie ~ @valouth CakeDuchess ~ Lora ~ @cakeduchess  EasilyGoodEats ~ Three Cookies     ElephantEats ~ Georgie @GeorgieCakes ~ Amy  HobbyAndMore ~ Richa ~ @betit19  JavaCupcake ~ Betsy Eves ~ @JavaCupcake  MisPensamientos ~ Junia ~ @juniakk  NoOneLikesCrumbleyCookies ~ T.R. ~ @TRCrumbley  OhCake ~ Jessica ~ @jesshose Queen'sNotebook ~ Elizabeth  Quirino ~ @Mango_Queen RicosinAzúcar ~ Helena ~ @ricosinazucar SimplyReem ~  Reem ~ @Simplyreem  Soni'sFoodforThought ~ Soni ~ @sonisfood TeaspoonofSpice ~ Deanna Segrave-Daly ~ @tspbasil ThatSkinnyChickCanBake!!! ~ Liz ~ @thatskinnychick TheArtofCookingRealFood ~ Laura ~ @TAofCRF TheWimpyVegetarian ~ Susan ~ @wimpyvegetarian VeganYackAttack ~ Jackie S. ~ @veganyackattack VegetarianMamma ~ Cindy ~ @vegetarianmamma


Let’s get back a second to this FABULOUS tart! Can we talk about the crust! Oh, the crust! The chewy coconut crust is like the most amazing coconut macaroons. I was tempted to just bake and eat the crust! The filling is soft and delicious with sweet vanilla and almond flavors. It was my first time baking with Tofutti soy cream cheese and I am very pleased with the results. My friend’s were thanking me for bringing it to the party this weekend.

Whether you are celebrating Passover or are dairy-free, gluten-free…or you just love COCONUT…you need to bake this tart now! 


Coconut and Berry Passover Tart

source: Martha Stewart Pies & Tarts


Vegetable-oil cooking spray
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons corn starch (for the Jewish community that does not consider corn starch kosher, you may use potato starch)
2 tablespoons almond paste
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup soy cream cheese, preferably Tofutti
7 tablespoons apricot jam
4 cups assorted berries


Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Press into bottom and up sides of pan of a 9-inch round fluted tart pan.
If you don’t have almond flour, simply take 1 cup (100 grams) of almonds sliced (blanched skins off) or natural (skins on) with 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of granulated white sugar and process until finely ground in a food processor (or blender).
Make the filling: Scrape vanilla seeds into a small saucepan, and add pod (I didn’t have a vanilla pod and instead used 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract). Stir in soy milk (I used almond milk) and 2 tablespoons sugar, and bring to a boil.
If you don’t have almond flour, simply take 1 cup (100 grams) of almonds sliced (blanched skins off) or natural (skins on) with 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of granulated white sugar and process until finely ground in a food processor (or blender).

Whisk yolks, corn starch, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Add hot soy milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined. Return to pan, and whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Discard vanilla pod.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat soymilk mixture and almond paste for 5 minutes. Beat in almond flour and soy cream cheese. Spread into the tart crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cover edges with a foil ring and bake until set (about 15-25 minutes more).

Let the tart cool completely in pan on a rack. Unmold. Heat the jam on medium-low heat with a little bit of water to loosen (about 1 tablespoon).  Spread about 4 tablespoons of jam evenly over the tart. Arrange berries on top. Brush on top of the berries the remaining berries and serve. Enjoy!

*I will repeat again what I wrote in the beginning of the post:  I am not Jewish and I am by far not trying to be an expert on what to eat during Passover or if you are following kosher guidelines. Please forgive if you see any errors here. To my anonymous commenter that was worried about meat/dairy being combined...I do mention that it should not be combined as I found on the The Shiska in The Kitchen website. Please read my post again so you can see that it is there.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! :) Happy #berrylove month!


  1. Oh I love the second shot of the tart! Its gorgeous. Coconut and berries are meant to be together! Thanks for sharing all that info, Lora. :)

  2. I'd make this just for the coconut crust alone. Wow is this pretty (and thanks for the lesson on Kosher eating too!

  3. What a great idea for a crust - coconut. I'd never considered that and as a Jew that celebrates Passover, I'm always looking for crust alternatives for my Passover deserts. And your tart looks amazing too.

  4. What a delicious passover coconut-berry tart! Thanks for all the helpful info. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for all the RTs, blog-support & berrylove!

  5. Coconut crust sounds great on its own!But then you go and fill it with the delicious filling and top all that with the berries!This is seriously delicious stuff!!Sending you some #Berrylove Lora :)

  6. Oh, I'd eat anything in that fabulous coconut crust....but berries would be at the top of my list! Such a wonderful treat for your friends!!!! Sending you loads of #berrylove, Lora!!

  7. Lora,
    The coconut crust sounds amazing, especially with the vanilla filling and topped with all of those magnificent berries. Your friends are very lucky to have a sweet friend like you.
    Sending #lots of #berrylove your way!

  8. Simply Gorgeous! It's a beautiful tart. I love that it's GF & kosher & healthy for you! Happy Berrylove!

  9. While those berries are absolutely gorgeous, I definitely think the crust makes this tart. I'm a sucker for all things coconut these days :)

  10. That is a gorgeous tart, Lora. Love the coconut macaroon crust!

  11. See, I would absolutely adore this tart. It has everything I love (coconut, beautiful berries). The only thing that I have trouble with is the almonds, as my sister is highly allergic to nuts. We always struggle to find good desserts to make for passover because of this.

    But, as I said, I love this tart and know that I would just devour this in one sitting.

  12. I can almost taste this beauty by looking at the photos. The contrast of flavors is perfection.

  13. Love love love this tart I almost baked a coconut based shell filled w/potato starch pastry cream. This tart looks fresh and beautiful for any day not just Passover.

  14. What a gorgeous dessert, Lora! I can see why this was such a hit with your friends. Coconut and berries go together beautifully.

  15. first of all, this tart is GORGEOUS. i love how you used an assortment of all berries here. i've tried to make a similar tart and my glaze didn't look as beautiful as yours!

    i learned so much about passover food just now! it's also quite healthy too!

  16. I love your coconut crust Lora! The tart sounds absolutely delicious! Thanks for clearing up my confusion about passover food. I've always loved matzos - especially chocolate covered. xoxo

  17. gorgeous gorgeous yummy the berries & the coconut together!! love all of your desserts! Happy Passover! <3

  18. I'm admiring the generous servings of berries on this tart...Wow! No doubt that it will be a winner for all occasions :D

  19. That coconut crust is killing me! No wonder it's a hit!

  20. i've never seen a chewy coconut crust like this before! looks so incredible like a giant macaroon!

  21. Could you please pass me a slice of that tasty tart? Thanks! ;)

    "Happy Cooking"

  22. oh my, this tart looks amazing - that crust, I need to make! thanks for the lessons, I definitely learned something today! :)

  23. I feel like it is easier to list what is allowed than what is not! I had fun when I contributed to Tori's (The Shiksa) blog with a Passover recipe, figuring out what I can pair! I admire the dedication to follow these rules!
    I love how your tart looks. Beautiful crust.

  24. Can you tell I'm catching up on my Google Reader? What a treat, three amazing and delicious looking posts one right after the other. This tart...oh my goodness, the crust is beautiful and all the fresh fruit topping is so perfect for this time of year. Enjoy your Passover meal with family.

  25. Thank you so much for clarifying the why/how of Passover foods! I've always wondered just exactly what is and what isn't acceptable (lover of theology AND food here ;-). Gorgeous recipe and great info!

  26. Coconut bottom yuumm!! Lora you've got awesome recipes and pictures that are very colorful and vibrant!! Great blog!!

    I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award!!
    Check it out

  27. I would have been happy with just the coconut layer but you had to add that wonderful filling and those berries!! I can see why it was a hit. :)

  28. Fruit-filled desserts like this are my absolute favorite!

  29. That is one gorgeous tart! And interesting history on the different customs...really nice read :)

  30. A-mazing!! These looks so pretty and tasty! The crust looks to die for! :) Much berry love!!

  31. Ohh!.....Really Cool!
    I am quite new in passover this year. That’s why looking for some special dishes. Really got something special from you here.
    Wishing you a happy Passover.
    You can take a look at this passover message: on this celebration. Very unique one.

  32. Definitely a show stopper dessert! The coconut in the crust is really a special touch to combine with the berries. Wonderfully creative!

  33. I cannot even think of a word to express how beautiful this is!

  34. One question before oohing and ahhing over a stupendous dessert: I thought soy was not allowed on Passover.... I have to check now. That said YOWZA!!! I love this tart and love the crust! A must-try! Boy, too bad you are not my neighbor! Fabulous! And I hope to add to Berry Love...

    1. Let me know what you find out, Jamie:)I checked with Shulie and she said some members of the Jewish community do on Passover and some do not. If your community follows a soy restriction, you could regular cream cheese. There are dairy Passover desserts.

  35. Lora - I love this tart so much, especially the coconut macaroon crust. This is going in my Passover recipe files. You did such a great job researching Passover rules, ingredients and guidelines. I don't even think I knew that much!

  36. Heehee it's all kosher in my book! Cornflour/corn starch, soy and yum & boy coconut I grew up on it edible or as an extra coconut oil shine in my hair! :) & yep dairy is fine I can see myself having a slice with my coffee at breakfast, tea in the afternoon or as a dessert for a parve fish or a vegetarian dinner.

  37. Coconut oil does add shine, Shulie:)I learned a lot and am still learning putting together this post.

    Jamie-If you look at the link I posted here for Shiska in the Kitchen regarding what to eat during Passover, she does discuss in great length about the Sephardic and Ashkenazi. She does mention how Sephardic's do eat soy products during Passover.;)
    "Sephardic Jews do consume kitniyot during Passover. They are, however, careful about ingredients co-mingling."

  38. Holy cannoli, Lora- that crust! Look at that crust! I am so making this. In elementary school my best friend and I used to go to each others' houses for Passover and Easter. It was a lovely tradition, especially as kids, to see how each others' families celebrated. This is a fantastic post with a wealth of information. (And that crust! Oh my!)