A Sephardic charoset recipe made with raisins, dates, dried figs and almonds. This tasty spread is delicious on matzoh for Passover and a must-have on your seder plate.
My husband, Isaac, is Jewish and over the years of being together I’ve had a lot of fun learning about Jewish traditions, participating in Jewish holidays and enjoying lots of amazing Jewish food! With Passover right around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to share a traditional Passover dish that my mother-in-law (aka Bubbie) makes every year, charoset.
What is Charoset?
Charoset is a sweet, brown, pebbly paste of fruits and nuts, representing the mortar used between bricks by the Jewish slaves to build cities in Egypt.
The mixture varies depending on region. For instance, an ashkenazi charoset recipe from Eastern Europe would typically include nuts, chopped sweet apples (usually galas or fujis), cinnamon and sweet wine whereas the Sephardic recipe is thicker and contains ingredients native to the Middle East such as raisins, figs and dates.
I’ve had several different versions of charoset and have liked them all, however being a dried fruit lover, I absolutely love the texture and taste of the Sephardic version.
Luckily Bubbie was willing to share her recipe so I could make it myself (and share it with you)!
Ingredients for Sephardic Charoset
The ingredient list for charoset is pretty minimal! Here’s what you’ll need:
dried fruit – a combination of raisins, medjool dates, dried figs. If your dates seem dry, you can soak them in water for 5-10 minutes to rehydrate before using.
almonds – this is what I typically use, but you can also use pecans or walnuts
applesauce – look for unsweetened applesauce if you’re using store-bought our make your own using my easy applesauce recipe
sweet red wine or fruit juice – Manischewitz wine is what the recipe calls for, but I have used pomegranate juice, cherry juice and grape juice. They all work great.
How to Make Charoset
For this charoset, you’ll need a food processor or blender because the mixture is blended into a paste rather than just chopped. Here’s how to make it:
Process nuts and dried fruit: Add nuts, raisins, dates, figs and applesauce into the food processor and process until combined, gently adding wine/juice as you grind to help keep it moving.
Pulse: Pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse paste. Remove the charoset from the processor and place it into a bowl or container.
Enjoy: Serve as a spread for matzoh.
How to Serve Charoset
Charoset is traditionally served at the Passover Seder and used as a spread on matzoh, but that doesn’t mean you have to be Jewish to enjoy it.
Maybe it’s the fruit and nut lover in me, but I honestly think this spread would be delicious on just about anything.
I already have plans to add the charoset to my oatmeal and yogurt bowls this week. It would also be phenomenal on a cheese plate or charcuterie board. The possibilities are endless.
How to Store Charoset
This recipe can easily be made ahead of time! Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for later use. The charoset should last for 5-7 days in the fridge.
This recipe makes about 3.5 cups so if you’re only making it for a small family, you could easily halve the recipe.