1.For the filling, combine the dates, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil then boil, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the dates are pulpy. Stir in the lemon juice and allow to cool.
2.Grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan; line the base with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
3.Sift flour into a large bowl, rub in butter with fingertips. Stir in the combined vanilla, rind and egg, then sugar, desiccated coconut and walnuts and mix well.
4.Press half of the flour mixture firmly over the base of the prepared pan. Spread filling over the base. Add shredded coconut to the remaining flour mixture, then sprinkle over the filling.
5.Bake for about 35 minutes or until browned. Cool in the pan.
This recipe can be made a day ahead.Note