Mexican Charoset

Raphael Zaga

1 hour and 30 minutes

10 servings

Cream-colored plate with endive lettuce and Mexican charoset

Mexican Charoset. Photo by Dave Katz.

Mexican Charoset. Photo by Dave Katz.

Examine the charoset on any Passover table and you can likely tell where the host traces their roots. Ashkenazi families traditionally make this Seder plate staple with apples, wine, and walnuts, while families from the Middle East typically include dried fruits in their recipes. This rendition, made with Asian pear, citrus juice, celery, apples, and shallots, comes from Mexican chef Raphael Zaga.

Find more recipes from Raphael on the Jewish Food Society’s archive and explore Passover dishes from around the world here.


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, minced
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 asian pear, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped (about 2 sprigs)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, separated (about 3 medium oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh horseradish, grated


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, gently warm the honey until it begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add shallots and celery, stirring for one minute until well incorporated. Add vinegar and stir to combine.
  3. Add apples and pears and reduce heat to very low, stirring constantly and making sure the mixture does not get too hot. During this time, the fruit will release water. Continue to stir until the water is completely reduced/evaporated about 45-60 minutes. It is important to watch closely and stir often to keep the sugar from burning.
  4. When the water has completely disappeared and the mixture is dark and caramelized, add ¾ cup of orange juice and reduce again, mixing and smashing the fruit, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ¼ cup orange juice, chopped oregano and 1 tablespoon of fresh horseradish.
  6. Transfer to small serving bowl. Garnish with 1 teaspoon fresh horseradish. Serve immediately.

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