Harosets is my favorite Passover dish. I have no idea why we only make it one time a year because it has the best contrast of texture and flavor. I love it served on matzo where the apples are soft in comparison to the crispy matzo. The apples burst with cinnamon and sweetness while the matzo is plain. My family's harosets recipe is in the traditional Ashkenazic style with apples, cinnamon, walnuts, and wine.
This recipe has to be one of the only family recipes that I haven't tinkered with. The recipe is simple and perfectly balanced as is. This is a rare family recipe that actually comes with precise measurements. So many of my family's legendary old recipes seem to be just a list of ingredients without measurements or directions. I remember asking my mom about the vague recipes a long time ago, and she said, "Well, the ladies in the family just knew how to cook from watching the previous generation and from experience. They only needed general guidelines and didn't need detailed recipes." It was hard for my young self to image ever being able to cook without a recipe. That just seemed impossible to me when I was a new cook. And yet after decades of experience, I too know how to cook without a recipe. My younger self would be shocked and pleased.
My mom further explained that the generation before her didn't have any recipes written down. They came from the 'Old Country' and literally measured ingredients by the handful, pinch, or drinking cup. They were poor, less educated, and had very different living conditions. My mom gave me a small glimpse into what life must have been like for my grandparents in a Russian shtetl (small village) 100 years ago. As I get into the mind space of Passover and its theme of freedom, I want to remember to be thankful that my grandparents escaped Czarist Russia and immigrated to the United States. I have a much better life and more freedom thanks to them. As I enjoy my sweet harosets at the Passover seder, I want to remember that my grandparents made my sweet life possible. Appreciating our freedom is what Passover is really about. Chag Sameach (Happy Holidays).
Come Cook with me in Italy
June 26 - July 6, 2024
A culinary trip to
discover Jewish Southern Italy
|My Family's Apple Harosets Recipe
- 1-¼ cups toasted walnuts
- 6 medium apples, unpeeled, cored and quartered (Fuji and Granny Smith, or other like Gala, Pink Lady)
- 1-½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 ounces Manischewitz Concord grape sweet wine
- In a food processor use the chopping blade, and chop the walnuts until they are finely chopped. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Then chop the apples in the food processor in batches until they are very small pieces but not mush. Transfer the chopped apples to the large bowl.
- Next add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste for sweetness and cinnamon, and add a little more if desired.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days before Passover. Serve slightly cold during the Passover Seder.
I always make extra harosets because I love to eat it all week long. Just in case I get tired of eating it on matzo, do you have any other ideas for enjoying leftover harosets? Please let me know in the comments.