My grandma understood our family better than anyone else. When it came to Passover eating, she knew we all loved the sweet treats. We consumed them traditionally during the seder and then savored them for the entire week. Therefore, instead of the traditional charoset recipe with about 3 apples, Grandma’s charoset fed us for days.
Charoset is one of the six items on a seder plate during the Jewish holiday of Passover. Each item represents a part of the story of the Passover. The seder retells the story each year. They can be huge community events with even hundreds of people, or small intimate family gatherings. It’s the traditions that are important.
Charoset pronunciation: Kha-RHO-set
The charoset represents the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to make the bricks. It is initially eaten with the bitter herbs called the maror (horseradish). In our family, there is always leftovers, and we enjoy it all week on our homemade Matzo.
- 2 1/2 pounds apples
- 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
- 15 ounces raisins
- 6 ounces honey
- Cinnamon to taste
- Core and dice apples
- Mix apples, walnuts, raisins, and honey in a large bowl
- Sprinkle cinnamon generously
If you prefer a more traditional Ashkenazi charoset recipe that is made with wine, you can make the following adjustments:
- Reduce honey to only 2 ounces
- Add 1 tsp white or brown sugar
- Add 1 TBS sweet red wine (like Manischewitz)
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g
Tips for homemade charoset
- If you use a food processor to chop the apples, take caution not to over-process. We always chop them by hand.
- Store in the refrigerator, although it’s best served at room temperature.
- We like it even better on day two after the flavors have all blended together.
*For the seder, you need the finely chopped apples, as it represents the mortar. However, if you are making it for any other time, the chunky tastes just as good and is quicker to make.
Ashkenazi or Sephardic charoset recipe
There are plenty of charoset recipes out there, each one a bit different. Traditional Ashkenazi charoset recipes have apples, nuts, cinnamon, and red wine. Ours skips the wine and has honey instead. In contrast, a traditional Sephardic charoset recipe will have dates, raisins, walnuts, orange peel, more spices and, of course, apples. Our recommended recipes:
- Naturally, we recommend our grandma’s recipe above if you want an Ashkenazi charoset recipe without wine, or with the adaptations, if you want the wine.
- If you are looking for a traditional Sephardic recipe, check out this one.
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