Citizens, tonight starts the major Jewish holiday of Passover or Pesach – and no Passover meal is complete without Charoset!
Charoset is a sweet paste made of fruits and nuts eaten at the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall mortar (or mud used to make adobe bricks) which the Israelites used when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt as mentioned in Tractate Pesahim (page 116a) of the Talmud. The word “charoset” comes from the Hebrew word cheres — חרס — “clay”.
Charoset is one of the symbolic foods on the Passover Seder Plate. After reciting the blessings, and eating a matzah “Hillel sandwich” combining charoset and maror (bitter herbs), the remainder is often eaten plain, spread on matzah.
Charoset is mentioned in the Mishna in connection with the items placed on the Passover table: “unleavened bread and lettuce and charoset.” Some say it can be traced back to the custom of symposia in ancient Greece, where philosophical discussions were accompanied by drinking large quantities of wine and consuming foods dipped into mixtures of pounded nuts and spices.
This actually makes a lot of sense as the Greek and Roman custom of leaning or reclining to the left while dining was also adopted to remind Seder participants that Jews were now free citizens of the Empire.
My version of the recipe is Ashkenazi in origin, or eastern European. There are other versions of the recipe that are Sephardic (middle eastern) that incorporate fruits and nuts endemic of that region.
Ashkenazi Charoset is usually walnuts, apples, hideously sweet kosher wine and cinnamon. I’ve (of course) made this a more gourmet version with 2 different kinds of nuts and apples, while incorporating a hint of Sephardic spices and a more balanced sweetness from Port wine that I know you will love, !
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Ashkenazi Charoset For Passover – חֲרֽוֹסֶת
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 2 Pink Lady apples (preferred and in-season for Pesach) or Granny Smith apples
- 4 Cameo apples
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans or more as needed and to taste
- 1 1/2 cups walnut halves or more as needed and to taste
- 3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or more to taste (my personal spice choice is not cinnamon, but rather a blend of dried rose petals and cardamom, ground to a powder in a spice blender – nutmeg would also be a fine addition here, or used in place of the cinnamon)
- 2 tablespoons honey or as needed to taste
- 3 tablespoons Saba (grape juice from Italy) + more
- 4 tablespoons Port or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon or more walnut oil
- Kosher salt
- Peel, core, and dice the apples and sprinkle with the lemon juice – mix thoroughly. I STRONGLY recommend using an Amish apple peeler to make this job go much faster – Williams-Sonoma sells one for less than $30 and it’s also great for making Apple pies, etc.
- Dry toast the nuts to bring out their flavor and aroma.
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just to break up – it should NOT be a paste. Add more saba, port and salt to your taste. Let sit for the flavors to meld.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Calories: 533.92 kcal
- Sugar: 39.55 g
- Sodium: 823.74 mg
- Fat: 34.32 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.99 g
- Trans Fat: 0.0 g
- Carbohydrates: 56.6 g
- Fiber: 12.09 g
- Protein: 5.03 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
Leave a Reply