Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Safta's Charoset (My Grandma's Charoset)

About Charoset...(taken from Wikipedia)

Charoset, haroset, or charoses (Hebrew: חֲרֽוֹסֶת [ḥărōset]) is a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt. The word "charoset" comes from the Hebrew word cheres — חרס — "clay."

The charoset serves an ancillary function with maror on the Passover Seder Plate. Before eating the maror — in the present day generally horseradish or romaine lettuce — participants dip the maror into the charoset and then shake off the charoset before eating the maror. This action symbolises how hard the Israelites worked in Egypt, combining a food that brings tears to the eyes (the maror) with one that resembles the mortar used to build Egyptian cities and storehouses (the charoset).

Despite its symbolism, the charoset is a tasty concoction and is a favorite of children. During the Seder meal, it may be eaten liberally, often spread on matzah.

Growing up I never really liked charoset, I don't think I ate it. Never did....but now that I have an appreciation for food and all that jazz I have decided that I like the taste of it! And you guys know how much I love dates. So, my Safta, which means Grandma in Hebrew, has been making charoset for Passover like this for many years. I wanted to share the recipe with you all, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Safta's Charoset

(Makes 6 cups)

1 pound pitted dates

1 apple peeled and chopped into big chunks

1 1/2 cup walnuts

1 cup Manischewitz wine (if you are worried about the kids substitute grape juice, but I can't promise anything about the taste!)

1/3 cup agave nectar

1 tsp cinnamon

1. First you must soften the dates by placing them in a glass bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Let them sit in the water for about 10 minutes.
2. With a slotted spoon, fish out the dates and place them into the food processor along with the chopped apple, and walnuts. Process.
3. After blending for a few minutes, stop and scrape down the walls with a spatula. Add wine, cinnamon, and agave nectar and process until the mixture comes out smooth, see photo.
NOTE: If you feel it's needed you can feel free to add more dates, agave, cinnamon, apples, and walnuts. This recipe has always been done by taste, my safta's taste, and then my mom's taste, and now my taste! This is how I made it and I think it tastes pretty damn good!!! If you don't have the taste, follow the recipe and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as my family does!


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