Shephardic Charoset Recipe

Shephardic Charoset
As most American Jews – including yours truly — trace their roots to Eastern Europe, most of our Passover charosets are based on the fresh apples of the Ashkenazi tradition. The Sephardic charoset is based on dried fruit and has the advantage of being able to prepare well ahead. You may substitute pomegranate juice for the red wine. You need lots of different dried fruit for this, but you can buy just what you need from the bulk food bins of health food stores or Whole Foods. If you buy the individual packets you will likely have more dried fruit than you need. Resist making a larger batch as a little Shepardic charoset goes a long way. Leftover dried fruit and nuts, mixed together, makes for a welcome after dinner sweet snack with coffee at a future meal. Try adding some chocolate chips to your after-dinner snack mix.

Do Ahead May be prepared up to two days before serving. If adding fresh mint, add a few hours before serving.

½ cup dates, pits removed
¼ cup prunes, pits removed
¼ cup dried figs
¼ cup dried apples
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup raisins
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup pecans, whole or pieces
¼ cup walnuts, whole or pieces
¼ cup pistachios
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped fresh mint, optional

1 Place dates, prunes, figs and apples on a generous cutting board. Chop until pieces are quite small – about the size of the cranberries and raisins. It may be easier to do this in batches – one fruit at a time. Dried fruit is sticky and not easy to chop. Transfer to medium mixing bowl. Add cranberries and raisins. Add wine and honey. Allow to sit until liquid is absorbed.
2 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine pecans, walnuts and pistachios on rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3 Coarsely chop nuts. Add to fruit mixture. Add salt. Add optional mint.

Yield 1 quart

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