Haroset: Dried Fruit & Nut Spread
Charoset, or Haroset is a dried fruit and nut spread served on Passover that is delicious.
It's a once a year thing, like fruit cake, and I love it.
It symbolizes the mortar for the bricks used by the slaves in Egypt to build the miserable Pharaoh's temples.
Cool guy, that Moses.
There are many different recipes for charoset.
My grandmother's recipe was just apples, walnuts, cinnamon and Manishewitz wine with a touch of honey to bind.
That is the Eastern European traditional recipe. Very basic, but packs a lot of flavor.
Sephardi (Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, etc) charoset is a paste made of raisins, figs and dates.
Egyptian Jews make it from dates, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and sweet wine. Greek and Turkish Jews use apples, dates, chopped almonds and wine.
Italian Jews (YES, there are Italian Jews!) add chestnuts.
and Spanish and Portuguese Jews add coconut (that sounds interesting).
I make a Sephardic version of charoset, mixing it up every year.
I use whatever nuts I have on hand and always dates and other dried fruit.
I posted it back in 2009 for my friend Deborah's annual seder.
Here it is again in case you forgot about it!
10 oz. container of dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup of almonds, toasted and chopped
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts or pistachios
1 apple, grated
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of powdered ginger
a few grinds of black pepper (gives it a nice spicey flavor!)
a few tablespoons of sweet Passover wine
In a large mixing bowl, mix your chopped dates and all of your chopped nuts together.
Add the dried spices and grate in the apple with a box grater.
Add the wine slowly to see how much you like. You only need enough to bind the fruit and nut mixture, you don't want any liquid remaining in the bowl.
You can also drizzle a little honey on top like my grandma did!
Have a sweet and happy Passover.