Sweet, sticky and delightful, this charoset is truly delicious and so easy to make. It is made with nuts, raisins, honey, and just a little wine. I simply add the ingredients to the food processor and let it do all the work!
I don't consider Passover as a particularly tasty holiday. Hanukkah is much better (hello, latkes!). Matzo is not very good (except when made into matzo brei), and the traditional Seder meal, while certainly tasty, is not exactly exciting, culinarily speaking.
However, charoset is a delicacy. And particularly this recipe is so very good. Made with no apples, it's fabulously smooth, sticky and sweet. If you like nuts and honey, I think you are going to love it!
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make this tasty Passover dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Walnuts: Make sure you use raw and unsalted nuts. These tasty nuts are among my favorites, by the way.
Raisins: I use 3 oz, and I prefer to use dark raisins, not golden raisins. Though if all you have are golden raisins, you can go ahead and use them.
Honey: Just ¼ cup adds the perfect amount of sweetness and stickiness.
Dessert wine: Traditionally you would use a Jewish dessert wine. I often use marsala wine, which is a departure from tradition, but a tasty departure.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff. It does make a difference, especially in an uncooked recipe.
How to make charoset? It's so easy! The food processor does all the work. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by processing the walnuts in your food processor. You want them finely chopped, but you should stop before they turn into walnut butter.
2. Now add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
3. Remove the blade and give the mixture one last good stir with a rubber spatula, paying special attention to the bottom of the bowl.
Variations and substiutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can use chopped dates instead of raisins.
- You can omit the wine completely, or replace it with 100% grape juice.
- Pecans work well instead of walnuts. Make sure they're unsalted.
Frequently asked questions
It's a sweet paste made of ground fruit and nuts, traditionally eaten at the Passover Seder. It symbolizes the mortar which the Israelites, enslaved in ancient Egypt, used when forced to work as builders.
Yes. You can simply omit the wine, or you can use 100% grape juice instead of the wine.
I like to use raisins. If you wish, you can replace the raisins with chopped dates. It's really a very flexible, forgiving recipe, so play with it and use your own preferred ingredients.
Not really. You could try using a sugar-free honey substitute, but the raisins are still high in carbs. Since I only make this recipe once a year, I have a small spoonful and then move my attention to the other items on the Seder table.
Yes! This recipe, as written, yields a fairly small amount of charoset - ¾ cup, or 6 servings. But if you're hosting a big Seder, you can easily double this recipe.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about a week. Do take them out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan on enjoying them.
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Charoset with Raisins and Honey
- 2 oz raw walnuts
- 3 oz raisins
- 4 tablespoons honey (80 grams)
- 2 tablespoons marsala wine (or any dessert wine)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Process the walnuts in your food processor until finely chopped, but not a paste.
- Add the raisins, honey, wine and vanilla extract and process until fairly smooth.
- Remove the food processor's blade and use a rubber spatula to give the charoset one more good stir, scraping the bottom, until well-blended.
- Transfer the charoset to a serving bowl.
- If not using the charoset the same day, cover and refrigerate, but remove from fridge 2 hours before serving and give it one final stir.