Making Passover Charoset

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Passover Table with handmade Matzah and silver platter on white tablecloth and flowers and walnuts

What is Charoset?

The word Charoset comes from the Hebrew word cheres, which translates to “clay”, fitting for the dish, which is a thick, dark-colored paste which resembles mortar.

Charoset is a fruit and nut mixture made with apples, figs, spices, walnuts, and dates. As a result, Charoset resembles the mortar used by the Jews while enslaved in ancient Egypt. Its sweetness hints at a sweeter, slavery-free future. Charoset represents part of the story told by the Passover Sedar Plate.

Charoset is part of the Sedar Plate. Traditionally the Passover Sedar dinner begins at sunset. It is a very long meal that often doesn’t end until after midnight or later depending on family tradition.

What is a Sedar Plate?

Passover Charoset Sedar Plate

The Passover Seder Plate is a special plate full of symbolism. The six items arranged on the plate signify the story of Passover.

Depending on who you ask, each part of the Sedar Plate tells the story of Passover. Each food on the Sedar Plate is symbolic for a different aspect of Passover. The boiled egg and shank bone symbolize the sacrifices associated with the Passover holiday. Bitter herbs represent the bitterness of slavery in Egypt; the parsley or celery accompanied by salt water represent the start of spring, and also the tears shed by the Jews as slaves.

Charoset isn’t pretty. My mother often tried to make it look like something out of Martha Stewart’s kitchen, but that just isn’t realistic. It’s designed to be messy, like something found on a construction site.

I’m normally fussy over the presentation of our meals. This is really the one exception. The meaning behind the meal, and the symbolism, is beautiful enough.

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Traditional Passover Charoset

Charoset is an ancient dish, with origins dating back to the antiquity of Greece. Traditionally made from pounded nuts, fruit, and honey that were available in the desert, the sweetness is something to savor. Every recipe for Charoset is different. Families pass on their unique recipe to future generations, or someone decides to add something new one year and it sticks. Charoset is as much as a passover symbol as it is a symbol of the family who has been making it over the decades.

Mix up your family recipe by using your favorite Eastern Shore Honey! In this recipe, honey alters the flavor of the dish. Darker honey adds richness while lighter honey adds minimal flavor to Charoset.

Did you know that all of our Eastern Shore Honeys are kosher, but not designated “Kosher for Passover”? If you are keeping kosher for passover, you must purchase foods that are “Kosher for Passover” approved.

Passover Seder Plate from Words with Boards
This lovely Passover Seder Plate can be customized to your liking from Words With Boards

What ingredients are removed from the diet in honor of Passover?

For those of you who do not observe Passover, we can tell you that preparing the home for Passover is quite a challenge. All leavened bread and foods that are deemed not kosher for Passover are removed from the home.

Following is a short-list of ingredients that are removed from the diet and also the home for Passover:

  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Mustard

If you decide to try this project, be sure to take a photo and share them with us using #waxingkararecipes on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

Passover Charoset Sedar Plate

Passover Charoset

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 335kcal

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Ingredients

  • 6 crunchy apples Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith or a combination peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 1/2 c walnuts finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12 Medjool dates pitted soaked and chopped
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp. Honey
  • 1/3 c sweet red wine

Instructions

  • Remove pits from dates and soak in hot water. Allow to soften. Chop into small pieces.
  • Toast walnuts in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Chop into small pieces.
  • For the most even texture dice the apples by hand. If you use a food processor, do not to over process. Pour lemon juice on top of apples, (works like a natural preservative).
  • Mix the apples, walnuts and dates into a large bowl.
  • Mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar; sprinkle over the apples. Stir in the honey and sweet wine.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Store leftover Passover Charoset in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 10.1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1.3mg

About the Author

kara

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learned and continues to learn about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more.

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3 thoughts on “Making Passover Charoset

  1. Thank you for the recipe. I was curious to know when the dates are added to the mixture?

    1. In step 3 when you combine the apples and walnuts. Thanks, I missed that.

  2. I have seen many Seder plates…..messy like mortar that hold the jewish faith and community together and did not know and oftened wondered what the individual componeents represented…..thank you for the enlightening…….

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