Ashkenazi charoset, which is the charoset most American Jews are familiar with, is usually made as a chunky, sticky mixture of apples, walnuts and sweet kosher wine. Sephardic Jews in the Middle East and Mediterranean make charoset somewhat differently, using dates and a variety of nuts in the mix (almonds, pine nuts, pistachios). Sephardic charoset may or may not include apples or wine. One of the more interesting ways charoset is served in the Middle East is in a ball or truffle form. Moroccan Seders will often serve these charoset truffles rather than the spreadable charoset we are more familiar with here in America.
I adapted these Sephardic Charoset Truffles from a traditional Moroccan charoset recipe that a friend shared with me. While charoset balls are usually dipped in cinnamon, I like to dip mine in cinnamon and sugar mixed together. I use pistachios because I love them, but you can substitute any kosher for Passover nut of your choice. Making the truffles is a very sticky process, so be prepared to scrub your hands afterward! These candy-like charoset truffles can be enjoyed for Passover and year-round.
If you have a smaller food processor, you will want to prepare this recipe in 2 or 3 batches. The dates are pretty sticky and can overwhelm a smaller processing blade.
Note: I have updated this recipe slightly by changing the ratio of the dried fruit to half dates, half apricots. When originally posted, the ratio was 2 cups dates, 1 cup apricots. I like the truffles better with a more pronounced apricot flavor. If you’d like to make it as originally posted, use the ratio of 2 cups dates, 1 cup apricots. Enjoy!
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Sephardic Charoset Truffles
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
- 1 1/2 cups dried apricots
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons honey (for vegan use date syrup or agave)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place dates, apricots, raisins, pistachios and honey and place in a food processor.
- Pulse for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth but still has texture. You may need to break up the sticky mixture a few times if it collects in a ball in the processor.
- In a bowl, mix together the sugar and the cinnamon. Form date mixture into balls that are about ¾ inch in diameter. The balls will be sticky and soft. It will be easier to shape them if you wet your hands slightly.
- Dry your hands. Dip the balls in the cinnamon sugar and coat thoroughly, and re-roll between your palms to smooth out any rough edges. Serve at room temperature.