Charoset delights

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to Passover preparations.  With the first Seder less than a week away (This year Monday night April 10, 2017) it is soon time to clean the chametz out of the house and begin cooking for the Passover feast! This year I would like to offer you a variety of charoset recipes for you to try and your Seder.

Charoset is the mixture of fruit and nuts used to symbolize the bricks and mortar the Israelite slaves used to build the fortresses and garrisons cities of the Pharaoh.  But what goes into making the Charoset and the flavors of the Charoset vary by locale!

If you are used to eating apples and walnuts, cinnamon and sweet kosher wine–then you trace your Charoset recipe to the European roots, primarily eastern European roots.  But charoset from around the world can taste very different.

For a class at my congregation we had a charoset tasting. Following are the recipes from around the world. Try some at your Seder table and most of all ENJOY!  Happy Passover.

Traditional Apple Charoset

Serves  8 (makes 4 cups)

 

1 cup walnuts

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup kosher red wine (such as Manischewitz)

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

kosher salt

2 crisp apples (such as Gala or McIntosh), peeled and roughly chopped

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.

Meanwhile, combine the raisins and orange juice in a small saucepan; simmer over medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool, then stir in the wine, honey, lemon zest, cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

In a large bowl, combine the apples and walnuts with the raisin mixture and toss to combine. Cover and let sit for at least 4 hours.

 

Nut free charoset

Originally from Weight Watcher’s Magazine April 1992:

2 small pears, cored and coarsely chopped

12 dried apricot halves, chopped (I think you could use other dried fruit, prunes for example if you can’t find apricots that are kosher for passover)

1/4 cup raisins

1 1/2 tsp honey (could be omitted in my opinion)

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tablespoons red wine (or grape juice)

Combine everything except the wine or juice in a medium bowl. Once it’s all mixed together, stir in the wine or juice. (Recipe says this serves 12, so you may want to add accordingly)

 

Yeminite Style Charoset

30 dates

20 figs 2 tsp ginger powder

matzo meal as desired

dry red wine

1 chili pepper (optional)

4 Tbs sesame seeds

Put everything in a food processor and make into a paste. This is a Yemenite style recipe,

 

Brazilian Charoset

1 Avocado

1 Banana

1 Orange

2 Granny Smith apple

 

Greek Charoset

1 orange, peeled and seeded

½ cup raisins

½ cup pitted dates

Cherry preserves

Dark grape juice

Ground ginger

Cayenne pepper

Sugar

1 tbs dark grape juice

 

Persian/Iranian Charoset

1 chopped pear

1 chopped apple

chopped pitted dates

chopped raisins

cinnamon

grated ginger root

apple cider vinegar

dark grape juice

 

Morrocan Haroset

8-10 dried, pitted prunes

6-9 pitted dates

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup almonds

4 Tbsp raw honey

2-3 Tbsp grape juice or kosher wine (reserve for end)

sugar (optional)

finely ground almond flour to roll the haroset balls

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