This year I had to make the Haroset all by myself. I could not go to my parent's house for the Seder, because all of Israel was under a total Corona virus lock down.
So, after a lifetime of keeping the secret family recipe close to the vest, my dad decided it's time to set it free!
He wants to share it with everyone in order to keep the tradition alive.
Roll up your sleeves, here we go:
This is a centuries-old traditional Sephardi Jewish recipe. Therefore the exact ratios between the ingredients can vary, depending on what you have that year, where you live and what's available there!
This is the kind of food you taste and adjust as you make it. Add a bit more of this or that as you mix, until the result is to your liking.
Have an extra portion for each ingredient ready, so you can add if needed.
If you cannot find moist dates, a block of date paste is very good too. Stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up.
If you have no dates at all, try finding Silan - date "honey".
Dry ingredients (minimum amounts):
Cut everything small because this is a high density dish, and you don't want to stick your food processor.
Now into the food processor:
Taste your Haroset now:
Is it too wet and runny? Add walnuts and or almonds.
Not enough "body"? add more dates.
Too dry? Add wine or tirosh. Never add water! Only wine or grape juice.
Add the spices:
The mix will be quite sweet now.
Start adding Ginger and Cinnamon. Just a little at a time.
Mix. Taste. Add more or adjust other ingredients.
You might want an alcohol-free version for the kids, so you can make the whole Haroset with Tirosh only.
But it's the Red Wine that gives this dish it's real "zing".
My dad would start off with tirosh, then split off some of the mass and finish making it with wine.
Same goes for the Ginger and Cinnamon - not everyone likes them, so you can make several versions split off from the main mass to accommodate everyone at the Seder.
For the brave: Prepare a small portion with some extra Cognac or (Not Kosher) Whiskey!
In the picture:
Haroset on Matzo, set on my great-grandmother's family heirloom Seder Plate.
This plate is about 250 years old. It was a part of a three-piece set. Each of the sisters got one, and my grandmother took hers to Eretz Israel.
Notice the hole in the center - the original three plates were stacked on a center pole.
This wasn't a Seder-Plate at all to begin with. It was a part of the family's Seder Dinnerware though.
I think, that this was one of the few things my grandmother had left from her family, and she and my grandfather used it as their Seder-Plate as a reminder of their old home.
Haroset is supposed to represent the mortar the Hebrew slaves used in order to build the cities of Egypt.
It's supposed to be quite thick and heavy and sticky.
Personally I like it to have a granular texture - not a smooth paste, so at the very end, I add a handful of crushed walnuts and just mix them in by hand, without using the food processor.
Let everyone in the house taste it and say what they think.