Each year I host a Passover seder, and I get carried away when it comes to making Charoses, the fruit and nut mixture that represents the mortar used by the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt. When I was growing up, I often (joyfully) took the job of making charoses, mixing chopped apples with chopped walnuts or almonds, sugar, and cinnamon. Most recipes call for sweet Passover wine instead of sugar, but we didn’t do that. I make this version every year, adding lemon juice to give it a bright touch.
The basic recipe is:
4 apples, peeled and cored
½ cup walnuts or almonds
½ cup sugar
Juice of one lemon
½ tsp ground cinnamon
You mix and chop these together in a food processor (or a wooden chopping bowl) and when the mixture is well combined and chopped finely, you taste it. I may then add more sugar, cinnamon, and/or lemon, depending on my taste. It is delicious!
Each year I also make one or two additional types of charoses as well. This year
I made a recipe for Bordeaux charoses from Joan Nathan’s new cookbook Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, as well as this Yemenite charoset I found on the internet.
Yemenite Charoset Recipe
1 cup pitted, chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/3 cup sweet Passover wine
3 tablespoons sesame seeds (Note: Ashkenazim are prohibited from eating sesame seeds during Passover)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ tsp Ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Chop and mix dates, figs and wine in bowl of food processor.
2. Mix in sesame seeds, ginger, coriander, cayenne.
3. Mold into ball and place on serving tray. Makes about 20.
After the Passover seder, we continued to eat the Charoses on Matzoh for the next few days. Finally, I had about a cup left of the Bordeaux Chaorset, that was made with almonds, wanuts, hazelnuts, and apples. What could I do?
The answer: I searched online for recipes and found a Charoset cookie recipe that I tried. It was pretty good.
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Mix all dry ingredients until combined.
3 Add oil, charoset, eggs, salt, chcolate chips, mixing well.
3. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto parchment paper.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Sprnkle with confectionrs sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate
And then I mixed the remaining ½ cup with yogurt for lunch. I added some grated fresh ginger, a little honey,a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a good thick Greek yogurt.
At the last minute I threw in some frozen blackberries that thawed during the morning, and I must say, it was a delicious lunch. No more Chaorses until next year!