Ahh… Charoset… the glue that hold the Passover seder together. Or more figuratively, the mortar our enslaved ancestors used to hold the pyramids together and an essential item for your seder plate. I have yet to come across anyone who doesn’t love charoset. Perhaps it is the sweetness of the apples and honey, but probably it has to do with the fact that it is the first real food we get to eat during the Passover seder. We have made it through the bulk of the haggadah, recited the kiddush, eaten the karpas, asked the four questions, spilled the wine for the plagues, eaten the maror and finally we get the hillel sandwich, which is the perfect appetizer for the meal to come. I almost always make too much and end up eating it for snacks for days following Passover. There are many recipes for charoset, but all include some form of fruit, nuts, sugar or honey and a bit of wine. I like to make a fairly traditional Ashkenazi version with little personal touches.
Like my apple pie I like to use different kinds of apples for a variety of flavor and texture, but be sure to use at least one Granny Smith or other tart green apple and I keep the peels on to add a little hint of color and brightness.
- 3 large apples (I used granny smith, braeburn and gala)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 c honey
- 2 Tbs red wine
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- squeeze of lemon juice (just enough to hold the color of the chopped apples)
- dash of salt
- Cut and core apples and chop in a food processor. Squeeze on some lemon juice early in the chopping.
- Transfer apples to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to begin your Seder. The flavor improves over time so this is a good item to make ahead of time, even the day before.