It’s one of the six symbolic foods on the Passover Seder plate—and it’s delicious, too.
Charoset (also spelled harroset) is usually made from sweet fruits, nuts and some red wine, all nods to verses in the Bible. Of course, you can keep eating it, once it’s done its role on the seder table.
Passover begins on the evening of April 15 this year and lasts for eight days. Seders, which tell the story of the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt, are held on the first and second nights.
The word charoset is derived from the Hebrew for soil. It represents the mortar used by enslaved people in the construction of pyramids and other structures for Egyptian masters.
American Jews who celebrate Passover, at least in Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, probably had some combo of apple, nuts and red wine, possibly seasoned with ginger or cinnamon. There are many other fruit and nut combinations at play, particularly in Sephardic Jewish tradition. Dates, sesame and coconut are some other ingredients that can be included.
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This recipe is for a classic, apple-based charoset. But it’s not all that classic, because nuts, to which I’m allergic, are optional.
Walnuts are the most commonly used walnuts in charoset. Use any apple of your choice; Some of my favorites are Gala, Fuji, Macons, and Macintosh. And while it’s traditional to use sweet wine, you can use any red wine you’ve opened up. Taste the mixture, and if it’s not as sweet as you’d like, add a little more sugar.
For texture, some people like roughly chopped charoset. I’ve seen it almost as a paste, which I find less appealing.
Charcot is traditionally served with matzo, the unleavened bread that is a staple of Passover. It represents bread that did not have time to rise as the Israelites quickly packed up and fled Egypt.
The Charoset also makes a good companion Cock either brisket You might be serving it as a main course later in the evening. And it keeps in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for two to three days. Scoop it up with extra matzo for a breakfast or afternoon snack.
4 apples, such as Macintosh, Gala or Fuji, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1/3 cup sweet red wine, such as Manischewitz (any red wine will do; sweetened to taste)
Finely grated peel of 1 lemon (optional)
tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
Place apples in food processor. Pulse a few times until you like finely minced meat. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the apples to your liking and mix everything together in a bowl.
Transfer apples to a bowl and add sugar, wine, lemon zest (if using), cinnamon, salt and nuts (if using).
Serve the charoset with matzo.
Katie Workman writes regularly about food for The Associated Press. She has written two cookbooks focused on family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.” she blogs here http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman, he can be reached here [email protected]
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