Saturday, April 19, 2008

New England Haroset

I enjoyed the last haroset recipe I made so much that I thought I'd whip up another. A glance at the ingredients in this one, however, and I could think of no better way to enjoy it than to eat it as an almost fruit-compote-like dessert with a spoon.

It comes together really quickly too, which was perfect for a hot spring day like this one - no time to be in the kitchen!

Combine 1 1/2 cups finely diced gala apple, 1/4 cup diced, sweetened dried cranberries, two tablespoons of kosher concord grape wine, and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup in a bowl.

Gently mix in 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (or you could grind them in a food processor). Refrigerate for two hours.

I recently learned that all kosher wines are vegan, because they never use animal-based products in the refining process. Since it's hard to be sure if a wine is vegan (unless you walk into the liquor store with a print-out list from the internet!), this seems like a nice, easy certainty to have on hand whenever in need of a quick bottle. I used the concord grape one that the original recipe called for because it is much sweeter than other red wines.

As for maple syrup, I once heard a horror story from a friend of mine who was visiting a syrup producer in Vermont, and saw them adding bacon to the vat! Although the bacon was removed by the time the syrup was put in bottles, she was told that it "added to the flavor." I've been investigating this online and it seems her story is backed up, but that there are maple syrup producers who are certified vegan. Best way to be sure is to look into the company before you buy. I'm a bit nervous because my bottle doesn't state one way or the other, and I couldn't find the info online, but it's organic, from Whole Foods, and I was told by a sales clerk that it was okay... ::guilty vegan shrug::

Have 1/2 cup for a 120 calorie dessert. Three servings total.

apple $1.50
dried cranberries $3.99
concord grape wine $9.00


CJ said...

As a vegetarian, I understand your concern about the story of a maple producer putting bacon into their evaporator. I can assure you that this isn't accepted practice and doesn't meet the Vermont Department of Agriculture Maple Rules (see for the rules). In "the olden days" this was done to act as a defoamer, the same as butter is used around a fudge pan to keep the syrup from boiling over. Now, sugarmakers use vegetable oil for that purpose. Any producer on will be able to assuage your concerns and answer your questions.

R Starr Lemaitre said...

Thank you CJ! This is a very welcome clarification.

The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance