Haroset, Sephardic (Cooked) - pareve

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

(about 3 cups)

One of man's earliest sweeteners was made by extracting honey-like pastes
from fruits such as dates and grapes. Indeed, Jewish tradition holds that
the Biblical description of Israel as the "Land flowing with milk and
honey" refers to date honey. In many locations in the Middle East and North
Africa, hullake (date honey) serves as the basis for a version of charoset. 

1 pound (about 2 2/3 cups/42 whole) pitted dates
about 1 1/4 cups water
1/2 to 1 cup (2 to 4 ounces) chopped walnuts or almonds 
(or 1/2 cup each)
about 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
about 3 tablespoons red wine 

1. Place the dates in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Let soak
for 2 hours.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently
with a wooden spoon, until soft and thick, about 40 minutes. Cool. (The
date syrup can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1
month.)
3. Stir in the nuts, cinnamon, and enough wine to make a paste. Store in
the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.

ALTERNATIVES 
  
* Reduce the dates to 8 ounces (1 1/3 cups/about 24 whole) and add 8 ounces
(about 1 1/2 cups) raisins. 
* Reduce the dates to 8 ounces (1 1/3 cups/about 24 whole) and add 2 large
peeled, cored, and finely chopped medium apples or 1 seeded and finely
chopped unpeeled large orange. (NOTE - This and the following form of
charoset are most prominent in parts of Turkey and Greece and on the Isle
of Rhodes.) 
* Reduce the dates to 4 ounces (2/3 cup) and add 1/2 cup (about 2 1/2
ounces) raisins or dried apricots and 2 large peeled, cored, and finely
chopped medium apples or 1 seeded and finely chopped unpeeled large orange. 

From an article by Gil Marks in the archives of the Jewish
Communications Network, 

Return to RFCJ Archive Page