Think lemon bar, but not. What’s a pomelo? Wikipedia holds lots of fun facts about this Southeast Asian native fruit, but for the sake of simplicity: biggest citrus, grapefuit-esque but sweeter, DELICIOUS. I was inspired to create a Passover recipe using this pith-ful fruit because I think more people should know about the pomelo and it offers an opportunity to share a Passover tradition I implemented last year (included below). That said, this is a recipe developed by an amateur baker, so please feel free to tweak it as you see fit.
I also invite you to include the pomelo on your Passover table this year, accompanied by the following reading (that I adapted for my seder last year):
“In the early 1980’s a Jewish feminist writer and professor Susannah Heschel included an orange on her Seder plate and asked the people at her table to eat a wedge as a sign to show support for the feminist movement and the changing role of women in Judaism. The orange was also meant to offer solidarity with lesbian woman and gay men, and others marginalized within the Jewish community, such as widows and orphans.
This year we chose to put a POMELO on our Seder plate. We wanted a fruit that was larger than an orange: to bring contemporary focus to the Seder and to encompass all groups that are marginalized in the world and in Judaism–people of color, the elderly, people with disabilities, victims of violence, low-income people, Jews who have never found their Jewish community, those who struggle to find their own identity, those who marginalization continues as extensions of patriarchal models of power.
We like the way a citrus fruit so clearly symbolizes the strength of parts coming together to create a whole. We also acknowledge that there are seeds to spit out–perhaps as a token or recognition for the narrow places within ourselves that continue to call for further examination. Yet the seeds are integral parts of our core, because without them we would not grow–and they too deserve attention and cultivation so that we can move towards a more spacious and conscious place, and so that we can begin to transform our own bitterness into sweetness and compassion. By tasting the sweet and sour pomelo, we honor these painful and sometimes undesirable parts of ourselves so that we can become more integrated and more whole.
Additionally, we chose a pomelo because it is a relatively unknown fruit. The fact that many people have never heard of, or at the very least tasted one, encourages the fundamental practice of the Seder: ask a question! Let this begin the important process of question asking and provoke all to share, explore, and ask when you don’t understand or want to know more. It is only through asking questions, especially in a situation where something new may make you feel uncomfortable, that we can move towards a more pluralistic and peaceful world.”
Passover Pomelo Bars
1 cup finely ground almonds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 cup butter
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons matzoh cake meal
1 cup pomelo juice
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. For the crust, combine the almonds, sugar and softened butter. apply it evenly to the bottom of a 13×9 pan (or in cupcake tins like I did!) Pop into the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the outside begins to brown. For the filling, first whisk together eggs, sugar and matzoh meal. Then add in the juice, milk and salt. When crust is partially cooked, remove from the oven and add the filling liquid on top. Place it all back in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the filling feels firm when touched lightly.