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Pistachio and Dried Fruit Haroset

Pistachio and Dried Fruit Haroset


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This haroset, or charoset, is a classic Passover recipe with dried fruits and nuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted natural pistachios
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup sweet Passover wine
  • 1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)

Recipe Preparation

  • Stir pistachios in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • Combine dates, cherries, apricots, wine, and juice in medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in honey, lemon juice, orange peel, and spices. Chop pistachios; mix into haroseth. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Garnish haroset with mint sprigs.

Recipe by Diane Rossen Worthington,

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 158.0 %Calories From Fat 40.5 Fat (g) 7.1 Saturated Fat (g) 0.9 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 20.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 3.1 Total Sugars (g) 14.0 Net Carbs (g) 17.3 Protein (g) 4.0 Sodium (mg) 4.1Reviews SectionI make this every year and it's so much more interesting than the usual apples recipe. I make it ahead and toss with pomegranate juice before serving to loosen it up. It's a hit and we have had an average of 30 people at our Seders over the last 10 years.

Main ingredients

1 unpeeled apple, cored and finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

1 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup finely chopped almonds

1 cup finely chopped pitted dates

2 teaspoons grated gingerroot

1 unpeeled pear, cored and finely chopped

1 cup chopped raisins


Nut-Free Dried Fruit and Apple Haroset

Passover has it's culinary challenges, it's true, but if you're like me, and have a kid with food allergies you are used to reading labels and figuring out substitutions throughout the year. I actually never minded this part. The fears of what could happen to my daughter if she ate fish or certain nuts, plus the medication and trips to the ER when it did happen were enough to motivate me.

Looked at it in a positive way, the Passover prohibitions plus the allergy no-nos are actually ways that have made my cooking more creative.

Obviously, we do not have traditional Ashkenazi haroset at our Seders. My daughter can't even be in the same room as a walnut. She can eat pistachios and almonds, so our usual family haroset with dried fruit includes these.

But -- why take any chances? Because it's possible that one nut allergy could be a warning against all others, my daughter doesn't eat any nuts, in haroset or anything else. On Passover I always serve a second version that's nut-free.

Nut-Free Dried Fruit and Apple Haroset

  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 4-5 tablespoons sweet red Passover wine
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine the figs, dates, apricots, raisins and apple in a bowl. Add the nutmeg, preserves, wine and cayenne pepper and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Let the mixture stand for at least one hour before serving.


Stacey Snacks

Charoset, or Haroset is a dried fruit and nut spread served on Passover that is delicious.

It's a once a year thing, like fruit cake, and I love it.

It symbolizes the mortar for the bricks used by the slaves in Egypt to build the miserable Pharaoh's temples.
Cool guy, that Moses.

There are many different recipes for charoset.

My grandmother's recipe was just apples, walnuts, cinnamon and Manishewitz wine with a touch of honey to bind.
That is the Eastern European traditional recipe. Very basic, but packs a lot of flavor.

Sephardi (Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, etc) charoset is a paste made of raisins, figs and dates.
Egyptian Jews make it from dates, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and sweet wine. Greek and Turkish Jews use apples, dates, chopped almonds and wine.

Italian Jews (YES, there are Italian Jews!) add chestnuts.
and Spanish and Portuguese Jews add coconut (that sounds interesting).

I make a Sephardic version of charoset, mixing it up every year.
I use whatever nuts I have on hand and always dates and other dried fruit.

I posted it back in 2009 for my friend Deborah's annual seder.

Here it is again in case you forgot about it!

10 oz. container of dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup of almonds, toasted and chopped
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts or pistachios
1 apple, grated

1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of powdered ginger
a few grinds of black pepper (gives it a nice spicey flavor!)
a few tablespoons of sweet Passover wine

In a large mixing bowl, mix your chopped dates and all of your chopped nuts together.
Add the dried spices and grate in the apple with a box grater.

Add the wine slowly to see how much you like. You only need enough to bind the fruit and nut mixture, you don't want any liquid remaining in the bowl.


A Seder staple

On the Passover Seder plate, the sweet mixture of chopped fruit, often dried, with nuts, spices, wine (kosher, if preferred), and honey called haroset symbolizes the mortar used for building by Jews enslaved in Egypt. The heavy symbolism aside, my sister likens it to Jewish salsa. It makes a terrific snack during Passover, and I sometimes even make it at other times of the year.

Haroset is found wherever there are Jews, so countless regional and ethnic variations exist. It takes well to customization, as you can see here – I vary the basic ingredients, the ratio of fruit and nuts, the spices, and the level of sweetness. Though haroset can certainly be made chunky, I like it on the smooth side (it’s meant to resemble mortar, after all), so I often specify chopping the ingredients finely. During Passover, haroset is generally eaten spread on a piece of matzo.

Italian-Style Fig and Chestnut Haroset With Brandy

If this haroset sits for a few hours, the brandy will lose its bite, so you may wish to stir in another teaspoon or 2 before serving.

1 medium crisp, sweet-tart eating apple, such as Empire, Gala, Braeburn, Jonagold, Honey Crisp, or Jazz (about 8 ounces), peeled if desired, cored, and finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

2/3 cup finely chopped dried figs, packed (about 4 ounces)

1 cup finely chopped roasted, peeled chestnuts (about 8 ounces)

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons apple or orange juice

3 tablespoons brandy, or more, to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons honey, or to taste

In a large nonreactive bowl, mix the apple, figs, raisins, chestnuts, and orange zest to blend, working apart clumps of chopped figs with your fingers or a spoon. Add the cinnamon, a tiny pinch of salt, apple or orange juice, brandy, and honey, stir to blend, and let rest for at least 15 minutes for flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional brandy or honey, if desired, and serve.

Ashkenazi-Style Apple, Nut, and Cinnamon Haroset

You can hand-chop one of the apples (finely) to add texture.

1/2 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

2 medium crisp, sweet-tart eating apples, such as Empire, Gala, Braeburn, Jonagold, Honey Crisp, or Jazz (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

1 1/2½teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, optional

1/3 cup sweet red wine, or to taste

2 tablespoons honey, or to taste

In a food processor, pulse the almonds 4 or 5 times. Add the walnuts and pulse 4 or 5 times. Add the apples, lemon zest, cinnamon, ginger, if using, a tiny pinch of salt, wine, and honey, and pulse, frequently scraping down the sides of the work bowl, to the desired consistency. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl and let rest for at least 15 minutes for flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning with wine or honey, if desired, and serve.

Freestyle Orange, Apricot, and Pistachio Haroset

This haroset is best served soon after mixing, before the pistachios soften too much. You can make interesting variations by substituting about 1 cup of either chopped mango or grapes for the orange.

1 large navel orange, peeled and very finely chopped (about 1 cup) plus 1 teaspoon finely grated zest

1 1/4 packed cups very finely chopped dried apricots (about 1 pound 2 ounces)

1 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup sweet white wine, such as late-harvest Riesling, or more, to taste

1 tablespoon honey, or to taste

In a large nonreactive bowl, mix the orange and orange zest, apricots, and pistachios to blend, working apart clumps of chopped apricots with your fingers or a spoon. Add the mint, a tiny pinch of salt, wine, and honey, stir to blend, and let rest for at least 15 minutes for flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning with wine or honey, if desired, and serve.

Yemenite-Style Spiced Pomegranate and Sesame Haroset

Many Yemenite haroset recipes use only dried fruit, but some include fresh pomegranate as well. Whole pomegranates are rarely available at this time of year, but Trader Joe’s often sells fresh pomegranate seeds. If you can’t find them, try substituting pomegranate juice for the wine.

1 cup very finely chopped pitted dates (about 6 ounces)

1 cup very finely chopped dried figs (about 6 ounces)

3/4 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted and very finely chopped

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, or more, to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2/3 cup sweet red wine, or more, to taste

In a large nonreactive bowl, mix the dates, figs, pomegranate seeds, and almonds, working apart clumps of chopped dates and figs with your fingers or a spoon. Add the sesame seeds, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, a tiny pinch of salt, and wine, stir to blend well, and let rest for at least 30 minutes for fruit to hydrate and flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning with ginger or wine, if desired, and serve.

Freestyle Pear, Cranberry, and Almond Haroset

I like to use pears that are just shy of ripe, so that they’re a little bit crisp.

3 medium Bosc pears (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled if desired, cored, and finely chopped (about a scant 3 cups)

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted and finely chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/3 cup sweet red wine, or more, to taste

1 tablespoon honey, or to taste

In a large nonreactive bowl, mix the pears, cranberries, almonds, and lemon zest to blend. Add the cardamom, a tiny pinch of salt, wine, and honey, stir to blend, and let rest for at least 15 minutes for flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning with wine or honey, if desired, and serve.

Send comments or suggestions to Adam Ried at [email protected]

(Photograph by Jim Scherer Styling by Catrine Kelty) TASTES TO RELISH Apples, walnuts, and wine are expected. Why not try citrus, dates, and different kinds of nuts?

Passover haroset: fruit and nut compote

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.- Haroset is meant to be a reminder of the mortar the Jewish people were forced to use when building the Pharaoh’s pyramids, yet it can be one of the most flavorful and beloved dishes in the Passover seder.

Recipes for this chutney-like condiment vary widely by region and family. In Eastern Europe, it often includes chopped apples, walnuts and cinnamon, while Sephardic Jews and those with Middle Eastern roots add dried fruits and nuts. Kosher wine is used to add moisture and bind the ingredients together.

This apricot, cherry and pistachio haroset is infused with Persian flavors, including coconut, cardamom and pomegranate juice. The sweet-tart blend is a tasty addition to any Passover supper, but also could be used as a filling for cookies and pastries at other times of the year.

Haroset can be a healthy but caloric treat, says JoAnn Libretti. Ms. Libretti is co-owner of DoSI Caffe in Stapleton. She notes that the nuts in the dish are generally from where the calories and fat come. Two tablespoons of the average haroset recipe, she says, translates to 30 to 40 calories.

Ms. Libretti makes a version of haroset for customers during Passover. It’s a flexible one, she says. After all, a cook can dress it up with dried apricots or craisins for a splash of color.

Haroset recipes vary depending on region. Eastern European versions call for cinnamon, sweet wine, nuts and apples. In Turkey, the formula uses chopped almonds, dates, apples and wine whereas Italian versions may use chestnuts. In some parts of the Middle East and Asia, grape jelly might be used as a binding agent.


Recipes: Around the world on a magic charoset ride

T he holiday of Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the Jews from slavery, is a time when families all over the world gather to retell the story of freedom. Customs vary, but during the Passover seder, certain ceremonial foods always are served.

One of the mainstays of the seder plate is charoset, usually a mixture of fruit, nuts, wine and spices. This mixture is chopped and ground together to resemble the mortar that was used by the Jews when they were slaves in Egypt.

Depending on the ingredients available, it is prepared differently in Jewish communities all over the world. Many people are familiar with the central European version, which consists of apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and wine. Israeli charoset, on the other hand, may include peanuts, bananas, apples, dates, wine and a little matzo meal.

During a recent trip to Cuba, we discovered that because the country is so poor, fruit and nuts are not easily available, but the Cuban Jews have adapted by using a simple mixture of matzo and wine for their charoset. Yemenite charoset is made with dates and dried figs and is spiced with coriander and chilies.

Many years ago, we decided to prepare a variety of charoset for our evening seder, and it has since become a tradition. In order for our guests to know what they are tasting, we serve each kind on a plate with the flag of its country of origin. As part of the fun, we also invented a California charoset, an original family recipe that combines oranges, raisins, avocado and prunes.

At the end of the meal, we serve several types of charoset for dessert. I always make extra Yemenite charoset balls and dip them in melted chocolate as a special treat. They can be made ahead, arranged on plates, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to serve. Just make sure to have a few extra for Elijah!

YEMENITE CHAROSET

– 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
– 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
– 1/3 cup sweet Passover wine
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– Pinch of coriander
– 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and minced, or pinch of cayenne
– 2 tablespoons matzo meal
– 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine the dates, figs and wine. Add the ginger, coriander, minced red chili pepper and matzo meal and blend thoroughly. Add sesame seeds and roll into 1-inch balls.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups or 20 balls.

GREEK CHAROSET

– 2 cups pitted dates
– 1/2 cup raisins
– 1/2 cup sweet Passover wine
– 1 cup walnuts, ground
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Place the dates and raisins in a bowl and blend with the wine. Add the walnuts and ginger and blend well. Shape into a pyramid.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups.

TURKISH CHAROSET

– 1/2 cup dried apricots
– 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
– 1/2 cup pitted dates
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 cup walnuts, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine the apricots, apples, dates, lemon juice and enough water to cover the mixture. Cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and mash with a fork, blending thoroughly. Mix in the walnuts. Spoon into a serving bowl or roll into balls.

Makes about 2 cups or 24 balls.

CENTRAL EUROPEAN CHAROSET

– 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped
– 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 cup sweet Passover wine

Combine the apples, walnuts, honey and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add enough wine to bind the mixture. Serve in a bowl or roll into 1-inch balls and arrange on a serving plate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups or about 20 balls.

ISRAELI CHAROSET

– 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
– 2 bananas, chopped
– Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
– Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
– 15 dates, pitted and chopped
– 1/2 cup peanuts or pistachio nuts, ground
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 cup sweet Passover wine
– 5 tablespoons matzo meal

In a large bowl, combine the apples, bananas, lemon and orange juice and zests, dates and peanuts and mix well. Add the cinnamon, wine and matzo meal and blend thoroughly.

CALIFORNIA CHAROSET

– 1 large avocado, peeled, pit removed and diced
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1/2 cup sliced almonds
– 1/3 cup raisins
– 4 seedless dates
– 2 figs or prunes
– 1 whole orange, zest and sections
– 2 tablespoons apple juice
– 2 tablespoons matzo meal

Toss the avocado and lemon juice in a bowl set aside.

In a processor or blender, place the almonds, raisins, dates and figs. Process until coarsely chopped. Add the orange zest and orange sections and process briefly to combine. Add the avocado and process 1 or 2 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl and gently fold in the apple juice and matzo meal. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

SEPHARDIC CHAROSET (Island of Rhodes)

– 1/2 cup dates, pitted
– 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup dried apricots
– 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

In medium saucepan, combine the dates, apples and dried apricots. Add enough water to cover. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture is tender enough to mash with a fork. Place the mixture in a processor and process, turning on and off the processor until the mixture is blended. Do not puree. Just before serving, fold in the walnuts.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

ITALIAN CHAROSET

– 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and coarsely chopped
– 6 dates, finely chopped
– 1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
– 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 to 2 tablespoons matzo meal

In a large bowl, combine the apples, dates, egg, almonds, walnuts and raisins and blend thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and enough matzo meal to bind the mixture. Mound the charoset in a bowl or roll it into 1-inch balls and arrange on a plate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups or 20 balls.

PERSIAN CHAROSET

– 1 pear, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped
– 1 apple, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped
– 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
– 1 cup almonds, finely chopped
– 1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
– 1 cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
– 1 cup dates, chopped
– 1 cup raisins, chopped
– 2 teaspoons ground ginger
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 1 to 2 tablespoons sweet Passover wine

In a large bowl, combine the pear, apple, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, dates and raisins. Mix well. Add the ginger, cinnamon, vinegar and enough wine to bind the mixture. Transfer to a platter, shape into a pyramid, cover with plastic wrap and chill well.


Recipes: Around the world on a magic charoset ride

T he holiday of Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the Jews from slavery, is a time when families all over the world gather to retell the story of freedom. Customs vary, but during the Passover seder, certain ceremonial foods always are served.

One of the mainstays of the seder plate is charoset, usually a mixture of fruit, nuts, wine and spices. This mixture is chopped and ground together to resemble the mortar that was used by the Jews when they were slaves in Egypt.

Depending on the ingredients available, it is prepared differently in Jewish communities all over the world. Many people are familiar with the central European version, which consists of apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and wine. Israeli charoset, on the other hand, may include peanuts, bananas, apples, dates, wine and a little matzo meal.

During a recent trip to Cuba, we discovered that because the country is so poor, fruit and nuts are not easily available, but the Cuban Jews have adapted by using a simple mixture of matzo and wine for their charoset. Yemenite charoset is made with dates and dried figs and is spiced with coriander and chilies.

Many years ago, we decided to prepare a variety of charoset for our evening seder, and it has since become a tradition. In order for our guests to know what they are tasting, we serve each kind on a plate with the flag of its country of origin. As part of the fun, we also invented a California charoset, an original family recipe that combines oranges, raisins, avocado and prunes.

At the end of the meal, we serve several types of charoset for dessert. I always make extra Yemenite charoset balls and dip them in melted chocolate as a special treat. They can be made ahead, arranged on plates, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to serve. Just make sure to have a few extra for Elijah!

YEMENITE CHAROSET

– 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
– 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
– 1/3 cup sweet Passover wine
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– Pinch of coriander
– 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and minced, or pinch of cayenne
– 2 tablespoons matzo meal
– 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine the dates, figs and wine. Add the ginger, coriander, minced red chili pepper and matzo meal and blend thoroughly. Add sesame seeds and roll into 1-inch balls.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups or 20 balls.

GREEK CHAROSET

– 2 cups pitted dates
– 1/2 cup raisins
– 1/2 cup sweet Passover wine
– 1 cup walnuts, ground
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Place the dates and raisins in a bowl and blend with the wine. Add the walnuts and ginger and blend well. Shape into a pyramid.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups.

TURKISH CHAROSET

– 1/2 cup dried apricots
– 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
– 1/2 cup pitted dates
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 cup walnuts, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine the apricots, apples, dates, lemon juice and enough water to cover the mixture. Cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and mash with a fork, blending thoroughly. Mix in the walnuts. Spoon into a serving bowl or roll into balls.

Makes about 2 cups or 24 balls.

CENTRAL EUROPEAN CHAROSET

– 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped
– 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 cup sweet Passover wine

Combine the apples, walnuts, honey and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add enough wine to bind the mixture. Serve in a bowl or roll into 1-inch balls and arrange on a serving plate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups or about 20 balls.

ISRAELI CHAROSET

– 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
– 2 bananas, chopped
– Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
– Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
– 15 dates, pitted and chopped
– 1/2 cup peanuts or pistachio nuts, ground
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 cup sweet Passover wine
– 5 tablespoons matzo meal

In a large bowl, combine the apples, bananas, lemon and orange juice and zests, dates and peanuts and mix well. Add the cinnamon, wine and matzo meal and blend thoroughly.

CALIFORNIA CHAROSET

– 1 large avocado, peeled, pit removed and diced
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1/2 cup sliced almonds
– 1/3 cup raisins
– 4 seedless dates
– 2 figs or prunes
– 1 whole orange, zest and sections
– 2 tablespoons apple juice
– 2 tablespoons matzo meal

Toss the avocado and lemon juice in a bowl set aside.

In a processor or blender, place the almonds, raisins, dates and figs. Process until coarsely chopped. Add the orange zest and orange sections and process briefly to combine. Add the avocado and process 1 or 2 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl and gently fold in the apple juice and matzo meal. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

SEPHARDIC CHAROSET (Island of Rhodes)

– 1/2 cup dates, pitted
– 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup dried apricots
– 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

In medium saucepan, combine the dates, apples and dried apricots. Add enough water to cover. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture is tender enough to mash with a fork. Place the mixture in a processor and process, turning on and off the processor until the mixture is blended. Do not puree. Just before serving, fold in the walnuts.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

ITALIAN CHAROSET

– 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and coarsely chopped
– 6 dates, finely chopped
– 1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
– 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 to 2 tablespoons matzo meal

In a large bowl, combine the apples, dates, egg, almonds, walnuts and raisins and blend thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and enough matzo meal to bind the mixture. Mound the charoset in a bowl or roll it into 1-inch balls and arrange on a plate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups or 20 balls.

PERSIAN CHAROSET

– 1 pear, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped
– 1 apple, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped
– 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
– 1 cup almonds, finely chopped
– 1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
– 1 cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
– 1 cup dates, chopped
– 1 cup raisins, chopped
– 2 teaspoons ground ginger
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 1 to 2 tablespoons sweet Passover wine

In a large bowl, combine the pear, apple, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, dates and raisins. Mix well. Add the ginger, cinnamon, vinegar and enough wine to bind the mixture. Transfer to a platter, shape into a pyramid, cover with plastic wrap and chill well.


Persian Haroset

1 unpeeled pear, cored and finely chopped
1 unpeeled apple, cored and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cut finely chopped almonds
1 cut finely chopped hazelnuts
1 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
1 cup chopped raisins
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Sweet wine

1. Combine pear, apple, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, dates, and raisins in a large bowl, and blend well, being careful not to chop the mixture into a paste. Add cinnamon, gingerroot, cider vinegar, and enough wine to bind.

2. Place on a platter and shape into a pyramid. Cover and refrigerate.

Raquel Segal,
Dix Hills Hadassah, New York


Haroset bars

Haroset, a blend of fruit, nuts and wine, is probably the most popular food of the eight-day holiday of Passover. To me, haroset is more than a holiday item. I use it as a basic flavoring for desserts the way French cooks use almond praline, Italians use chocolate-hazelnut gianduja and Americans use peanut butter. For this twist on blond brownies, I add haroset, dried apricots and chocolate chunks to a Passover brownie batter made with matzo cake meal and potato starch. They’re certainly easier to make than Passover sponge cakes.

You can substitute ½ cup chocolate chips for the chocolate chunks.

In a small jar, combine the diced dried apricots and figs with the wine. Close the jar and shake a few times to moisten the fruit, then set the mixture aside for 30 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with foil and butter the foil.

In a medium bowl, mix the matzo cake meal, potato starch and salt.

In a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, or in a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the oil and the granulated and brown sugars beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the haroset and beat on low speed until blended. Add the eggs, one by one, beating thoroughly on high speed after each one. Add 4 tablespoons of the matzo meal mixture and beat over low speed. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining matzo meal mixture. Stir in the dried fruit mixture and any wine in the jar. Stir in the chocolate pieces.

Transfer the batter to the pan and spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts and pat them lightly so they adhere to the batter. Bake until the top browns lightly and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, 18 to 22 minutes if the wooden pick comes out chocolaty, test again. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.

Turn the cake out gently onto a plate, then onto another plate or a cutting board so that the walnuts are on top. Using a sharp knife, cut it carefully into 16 bars. Serve at room temperature.



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