There are many words that have multiple spellings when they are translated from Hebrew to English. Charoset is one of those words (pronounced Har-oh-set, or you can say the Ch sound like something is stuck in your throat). Charoset is one of the symbols on the Passover seder plate. It represents the mortar that the Jews used to fuse the bricks together when they built the pyramids as slaves in Egypt. But unlike actual mortar that is made of sand and water, Charoset is a delicious blend of fruits and nuts. And just like it can be spelled in different ways, each family has their own tradition of what ingredients are included in their Charoset recipe. Growing up, my family used apples, walnuts, cinnamon and honey. It didn’t look much like mortar because the ingredients didn’t bind together, so a few years ago, I experimented with the recipe and developed a delicious Charoset. I took the lead from Sephardic Jews and added dates and raisins to the recipe, and the result formed a binding and tasty Charoset for our seder table! This year, I will not be hosting, but I have been asked to bring it with me – proof that I am not the only one who thinks it’s good!
Even if you are not Jewish, you can enjoy Charoset as a protein-rich snack on crackers, on celery, or straight from a spoon (I have had a spoon in my batch a few times already). Charoset is sweet and nutty and packed with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E, so eat up bubalah!
Makes approximately 3 cups
1 cup shelled walnuts
10 dried, whole dates
1/3 cup yellow raisins
2 large apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup grape juice (or Kosher red wine)
Gather all of your ingredients. You will also need a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a food processor.
Start by removing the pit and the hard end from the date and chop them. Even if you buy pitted dates, still chop them before putting them into your food processor. Those sticky suckers once burned my motor out, but chopping prevents that catastrophe.
Add your dates, raisins, cinnamon, and walnuts to the food processor, but don’t turn it on yet.
Peel, core and cube your apples and add them into the food processor. Top them with the grape juice or red wine and pulse the mixture until everything is chopped and blended. Take care not to turn the food processor on and walk away. We want a coarse “mortar,” not a smoothie.
And that’s all it takes! Voila, charoset for the masses!
This recipe will last for up to a week in the refrigerator, but I have a feeling that I will be making a second batch before my first seder.
Tell me, what’s your family’s Charoset recipe tradition? And if you don’t celebrate Passover, how will you eat your Charoset?