Our family charoset recipe came to us courtesy of my husband’s sister. She learned the recipe from my mother-in-law, a Sephardic Israeli Jew who was married to an Ashkenazi Russian Jew. The charoset is pureed with dates, Sephardic-style, but it also contains apples and walnuts (traditional Ashkenazi charoset ingredients). Because of the blending of two food traditions, I call this our Ashkephardic Charoset Recipe.
Not only do I love the flavor of this charoset, I think it’s wonderful how my husband’s ancestry is reflected in the final dish. The pureed texture resembles mortar, which is one of the symbolic reasons we eat charoset (it represents the mortar that the enslaved Jews of Egypt used for building). Spreading this charoset on a matzo cracker is a highlight of our Seder meal. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do!
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- 1 cup pitted dates, tightly packed
- 3/4 cup walnut halves
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 small ripe banana
- 2 tbsp sweet kosher wine, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- A few apple slices, walnut halves, and lemon juice for garnish
You will also need
- Food processor
- Pulse the pitted dates and walnut halves in a food processor till they form a crumbly mixture.
- Add raisins, banana, apple, sweet wine, cinnamon and black pepper to the processor. Blend for 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides periodically, until mixture becomes the consistency of a sticky paste (like hummus).
- Taste the mixture. Add kosher wine for more sweetness and to soften the mixture, if desired.
- Best when served chilled. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Please note that apples and bananas will begin to oxidize after the first day, and the mixture may darken in color. This is normal and does not affect the taste of the charoset.
- Before serving, I like to garnish the charoset plate with a walnut half and apple slices. Sprinkle the garnishing apple slices with lemon juice so they don’t turn brown. Place a walnut in the center, then create flower petals with the apple slices in a spiral around the walnut.