Coconut is the base of Surinam charoset. The ingredients reflect the tropical source of this recipe. Originally, Surinam cherries were simmered and added to the fresh fruits. Today, since most cherries available do not have the same taste, cherry jam is used instead. Some families replace one or two of the ingredients with peaches or pineapple. Like other Sepharadim, Surinamese Jews wouldn’t only make charoset for the seder— they make enough to eat all week long with matzah. Preparation time does not include soaking.
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- 3 cups unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups walnuts or almonds, chopped
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1 1/2 cups dried apples
- 1 1/2 cups prunes or plums
- 1/2 cup cherry jam
- 1 cup sweet red wine
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, cover the dried fruit with water. Soak overnight in the refrigerator to soften. The next day, finely dice all the fruit.
2. In a large saucepan over low heat, add the ground coconut. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the nuts and sugar. Keep stirring to prevent the coconut from sticking to the pan.
3. When the wine and coconut mixture is well combined (neither too wet or too dry), add the fruits, continuing to stir until ingredients have come together. Stir in the cherry jam.
4. Remove from heat. Add cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Keep refrigerated until serving.