Passover is all about symbolism and ritual. Charoset, חֲרֽוֹסֶת, pronounced ha-ro-sit, is one of the symbolic foods that Jewish people eat each year during Passover seder. It reminds the Israelites of the mortar used to lay bricks when they were slaves in Egypt. I guess it can look like mortar!
There are two types of Charoset: (1) Eastern European "Ashkenazi" charoset is a mix of chopped apples, nuts, cinnamon and sweet wine, and (2) Middle Eastern "Sephardic" charoset includes dates, nuts, raisons, wine and honey. We are doing the Ashkenazi style with apples and nuts.Above is the apple-almond charoset in a classic bowl with a big piece of shmurah matzah (such a cute garnish?!). Since charoset is brown and bland-looking, be sure you serve it in something pretty or contrasting in color.
SO tasty and incredibly simple to make - no oven, grill or burner required! My concoction calls for Fuji apples, roasted almonds (sweet silky nutty bite), cinnamon (heavenly), lemon zest and sweet Manischewitz wine. Below, I filled metal martini cups with charoset and had them scattered down the table. (Flower centerpieces by Language of Flowers in SLC and white glass flowerpots from IKEA.)
**Charoset, Ashkenazi style**
(food processor, big mixing bowl)
zest from 3 big lemons
2-3 cups of roasted almonds
2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
2 cups sweet Manischewitz wine
(1) Cut up the apples (toss the core) into equal small sizes and put in the food processor. Chop up the apples into small minced chunks and transfer to a mixing bowl. Repeat until all the apples are chopped.
(2) Take the zest of 3 large lemons and add to the apple mixture. I use a Microplane to get fine grates.
(3) Mix in the sugar and cinnamon.
(4) Next, grind the almonds. I forgot to take a picture of the that step, as I was so excited to finish it, mix it and eat it! So, where was I? Grind the almonds and add to the mixture. It will stay good for over a week in the fridge. Flavors will intensify after the first few days. Voila!
Below is the same charoset in a steel martini cup (brown mix clashes with the silver, dontcha think?). Doesn't it look way more attractive in the white bowl above?!