English: Charoset made with kosher wine, apple...

Haroset made with kosher wine, apples, pears, cinnamon, honey, pine nuts, and crushed walnuts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cozybookbasics is pleased to update and republish this blog post from April, 2012.

This recipe from Biblical times is full of favorite ingredients and is perfect for light entertaining. It’s a specialty of Rev. Steve Lawson’s,  our United Church of Canada minister who is also a Swiss-trained chef. He contributed his recipe to Eating at Church, a heritage cookbook published by the congregations of Aylmer and Eardley United in the Province of Quebec. Here’s our story of why we love our minister and all the traditional celebrations that will be going on in communities like yours and mine all over America later this week:

  • The eggs and hot cross buns of our Easter Sunday sunrise breakfast in the church basement had just been eaten when Rev. Steve emerged from the kitchen carrying  a platter of hors d’oeuvres. Somewhat sheepishly, he said the correct term for the Haroset he held might be “left-overs”.
  • The dark red paste now spread on matzoh bread had been in the refrigerator since Maundy Thursday, three days before. What had begun as an experiment in honoring our Judeo/Christian heritage three years before had blossomed into a full-blown Seder feast held each year.
  • Rev. Steve wears a yarmulke for the occasion and explains the numerous traditional Seder dishes being served. Adults and children watch the video re-enactments of the Passover and the Last Supper intently.
  • Each item on the menu is symbolic. Bitter herbs stand for the bitterness of captivity and suffering of the Israelites in Egypt. Salt water, for dipping the herbs into, represent the tears of sorrow shed.
  • Matzoh bread is unleavened because they had to take flight in such a hurry.
  • Roast lamb symbolizes the sacrificial lamb‘s blood that marked the Israelites’ doorposts so they would be passed over and escape from the decree that firstborn children be slaughtered.
  • The Hebrew word charoset means clay and this dish symbolizes the mortar used by Jewish slaves to build Egyptian structures. The sweetness represents the kindness of God in making slavery more bearable.
  • Members of the congregation have been invited to bring salads also, adding a non traditional feature to this meal adapted for them and not strictly kosher


  • Ingredients: 6 Apples peeled and chopped;  ½ tsp. Cinnamon; 2/3 cup Walnuts, chopped; 1 Rind of a lemon or small orange, grated; 3 tbsp. Sugar (to taste) or honey; 4 tbsp. Sweet red wine; 1-2 tbsp. Orange juice.
  • Directions: Mix ingredients with an electric mixer until they become a dark red paste.  The traditional way of combining the ingredients is by using a mortar.
  • Tips: You may make the basic recipe differently from time to time, by changing your choice of apple variety or wine.  It may be eaten either as an hors d’oeuvre or in the form of a sandwich with matzoh bread.
  • http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Church-Recipes-Aylmer-Eardley/dp/1439216711/ref=la_B001K91GX0_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362484424&sr=1-2

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