Harosi, Rhodes style

Given the tradition of spoon sweets in our cuisine, we’ve always made a puree of our harosi. There’s no reason not to make it chunkier if you like more texture. We use no cinnamon at all in this, and the wine is minimal, a symbolic gesture. You can be pretty loose with your interpretation – choose the nuts and apples you like from the list – but credit for these excellent proportions goes to my Aunt Rady, who has always been passionate for perfection.

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds fresh dates, pitted – Medjools are heavenly
1 pound dried Turkish apricots
2 or 3 sweet-tart apples – Macintosh, Macoun, Cortland, Royal Gala, or Fuji are all good choices.
1 ½ pounds nuts – any combination of almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts. Choose nuts that will complement your choice of apples.
1 teaspoon Passover wine

Directions

Prepare the nuts:
Preheat the oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake until they are very fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet promptly and transfer the nuts to a bowl to cool. If you’re using hazelnuts or pistachios, they’ll need peeling. Wrap these straight from the oven in a kitchen towel and when they’re cool enough to handle, rub them briskly between your palms to loosen and remove the chaff. Chop the toasted nuts coarsely or grind them in a food processor, but don’t make paste. Either way, you want texture.

Prepare the fruit:
Core and peel the apples and chop them, the dates and apricots coarsely.  Put the fruit in a saucepan, fill with cold water just to cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the flame and simmer gently until the fruit is tender. There shouldn’t be a lot of liquid left in the pot, but if there is, drain the fruit very briefly in a colander.

Assembly:
Choose your texture. Either continue with the chunky cooked fruit as is, or puree it (making sure it remains thick). Transfer the fruit to a glass or ceramic bowl, add the chopped or ground nuts and wine, and blend well with a wooden spoon.

Serve chilled. Refrigerate in glass jars to enjoy over the holiday.

6 responses to “Harosi, Rhodes style

  1. Yehuda Franco

    Barminah ke bueno! my famia used to add a tiny bit of salt and rosewater and as I remember families used to have their secret variations. Endyamantado Pessaj Kascher k’tengasch!

    • Janet

      Yehuda, I think if you put ten Sephardic cooks in a room, you’ll get thirty different ways of making a single recipe! 🙂

  2. Deborah Niskin

    I put this on Facebook. Hope you don’t mind. It really looks delicious.

  3. My mother added honey to the mixture and cooked it very slow over med heat until it was like a paste. Yum!

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