Thinking back to our Passover seders growing up, there is one thing that stands out in my mind, more than anything else. I’m standing in my Nana and Papa’s kitchen, helping Nana make charoset (also referred to as haroset or charoises) for the Seder plate. It was one of the things I loved helping with because it meant she would ask me to taste it to make sure it was perfect. And charoset is one of those things that I can eat by the spoonful. It’s that good.
Even though this year’s circumstances don’t allow us to have a traditional seder, I wanted to bring in some of the elements for my kids, to make sure we don’t lose the traditions I grew up with.
For my non-Jewish readers, the Passover Seder is a feast that includes reading, drinking wine, telling stories, eating special foods, singing, and other Passover traditions. One of those traditions, is creating the Seder plate. The Seder plate contains symbolic foods for Passover, including a shank bone (zeroa), egg (beitzah), bitter herbs (maror), parsley (karpas) and a sweet paste of apples and nuts called charoset.
Now that you have a little background, I’m excited to share the charoset recipe I grew up with. Nana wasn’t one for writing all of her recipes down, at least that I can remember. She usually just “eyeballed” it. I’ve always done the same for this particular dish, until I realized that if we don’t write it down somewhere, our kids won’t have access to the recipe. And if I’m going to write it down for them, I might as well share it with all of you!
Let me start by admitting that it’s not the prettiest dish. But if you can get past it’s looks, you will fall in love with it as much as my family has for generations. I made a big batch earlier this week (it will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, if it lasts that long) and my kids have been asking for it for dessert every night. I imagine Nana smiling down every single time they take a bite.
Charoset is very easy to prepare. The amount of sugar should be based on your taste. Some may not need any at all, depending on the type of grape juice you use. I do recommend tasting it before you add the sugar and then add as needed.Print
Quite possibly our favorite part of the Passover seder plate. Charoset is the perfect combination of walnuts, apples, cinammon, sugar and grape juice.
- 16 oz walnuts (finely chopped)
- 2 granny smith apples (peeled and chopped)
- ½ lemon (juiced)
- ¾ cups grape juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 5–6 tsp sugar
- Finely chop walnuts in your food processor. I use the pulse setting over and over again until it's evenly chopped. Place chopped walnuts into a bowl.
- Add chopped apples and lemon juice to your food processor and using the same setting, pulse until apples are diced. Add to bowl with walnuts.
- Add cinammon, sugar and grape juice and stir until combined. Let sit for 15-30 minutes and serve with matzoh.
- Cuisine: Jewish
While you can eat it straight out of the container (and we do), it’s really delicious spread on matzoh (egg matzoh is our favorite). My 10 year old described it as tasting like apple pie, and I have to agree that it does have a number of similar ingredients. And even though it’s a Passover tradition, you can make it year round.
If you choose to try our charoset recipe (and I hope you do), I would love to hear your thoughts below. Don’t forget to check out our potato kugel recipe while you’re at it!