How to Make Charoset

Charoset (also spelled haroset) is a mixture of apples, nuts, honey, and a little cinnamon. It is one of the elements on the seder plate, symbolizing the mortar the Israelites used to build bricks when they were slaves in Egypt.

During the seder, each participant makes a small matzoh sandwich of bitter herbs (horseradish) and charoset. The tradition began with Rabbi Hillel (110 B.C.–A.D. 10), who said Passover was not fully celebrated unless the bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and lamb were eaten together. After the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, ending the sacrificing of lambs, the sandwich became charoset and bitter herbs.

The bittersweet taste is intended to teach the bitterness of bondage and the sweetness of freedom.

The following recipe will make 15 tablespoons. Serving size is one tablespoon per person:

1 large apple, any variety

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 tablespoons honey

1 tsp cinnamon

small amount of lemon juice (optional)

The easiest method is to put the apples and nuts into a food processor and pulse until finely diced. Sprinkle enough lemon juice on the mixture to keep the apples from turning brown. Then mix in the other ingredients. Some people also mix in a little grape juice or wine.

The nice thing about charoset is that the measurements do not have to be exact, so nothing is really ever wrong.

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