Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.
Of all the Jewish holidays, Passover is my favorite. While it doesn’t have the delicious fried foods you find during Hanukkah, the traditional Seder meal offers both a chance to remember the past and celebrate the current goodness of life. Plus, how can you not love a holiday that requires matzo ball soup?
Though that bowl of soup will always be my primary Passover love, I also have a soft spot in my heart for the charoses. It’s essentially a salad made from apples, walnuts, honey, cinnamon and sweet wine and is meant to represent the bricks and mortar that the Jews laid before their escape from slavery. Sweet and crunchy, it’s traditionally eaten on matzo with a dab of horseradish.
All photos by Marisa
Several years ago, inspired by the combination of ingredients in charoses, I set out to create a preserve that would evoke those same flavors while also being something that could be canned in a boiling water bath.
What I settled on was an apple-based compote, sweetened with honey, spiked with grape juice (it’s easier than wine) and scattered throughout with toasted almonds (they hold their crunch better than walnuts do).
I’ve played with the recipe a great deal since my initial batch and have cut the yield down so that it delivers just a pint. I find that that’s a nice amount for a small family, but it can easily be doubled, should you find yourself in need of more.
|Apple Almond Conserve||
- 4 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 cup grape juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Combine apples and grape juice in a wide, non-reactive saucepan set over medium heat. Place a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer until the apples have softened. This should take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the apples.
- Using a potato masher or fork, crush the softened apples into a chunky sauce.
- Add the honey, sugar and cinnamon to the pan and raise the temperature to medium-high.
- Stirring regularly, cook until the mixture has thickened considerably and there’s no more watery liquid around the base of the fruit.
- Another way to tell that it’s finished is by pulling your spoon through the fruit. If the space you’ve drawn doesn’t fill up immediately, that’s a good sign that it’s ready.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the toasted almonds.
- Because this recipe makes just a pint, you can skip the canning step and simply keep it in the refrigerator (it will keep there for 7-10 days).
- If you’d prefer to can it for shelf stability, prepare two half pint jars (because this is a thicker product, small jars are best). Funnel the conserve into the jars. Wipe the rims, apply lids that have been soaked in hot water and loosely twist on the bands.
- Process jars in a small boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from the canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel.
- Water bath processed jars will keep in the pantry for up to one year.
Have you ever taken a holiday favorite and translated it into a preserve?