So it’s Passover, and I’ve been remiss in posting recipes appropriate to this particular holiday. Specifically associated with the seder, charoset is actually a wonderful salsa of sorts that can be scooped up and eaten on matzah.
While its purpose at the seder is to represent the mortar with which Jews built the bricks while they were slaves in Egypt, the dish is actually made from ingredients you can find year round. I always mean to take advantage of its taste and ease of prep outside of Passover, and maybe this year I finally will. (Especially now that my friends discovered it goes great on french toast. I think that means it’d be pretty tasty on matzah brei too…)
The recipe below is for traditional Ashkenazi charoset, and I found it on Epicurious.
CHAROSET – makes 4 cups
- 3 medium apples, peeled and cored – I used 2 honeycrisp and a gala
- 1.5 cups toasted and chopped walnuts (Toasting optional)
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sweet kosher wine or grape juice
You can prep this in a food processor, but I found it wasn’t too bad chopping everything by hand. Also in a processor you run the risk of making applesauce by accident.
**Optional – Preheat your oven to 400F and place the nuts onto a baking sheet. I used an 8″ square cake pan. When the oven is ready, place the nuts in, and toast for 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant.
The easiest method for chopping up the apples evenly, I found, was to cut it into little “fries” in one direction, then dice it from there. Pour the chopped apples into a bowl. Add the cinnamon and sugar.
While toasting the nuts adds does enhance the nutty smell, it also is much easier to chop them while they’re a bit warm. Make sure the pieces are coarse but similar to the size of the sliced apples. Add them to the bowl as well. Then add the wine and stir until everything’s mixed together.
That’s it! Make sure you cover and refrigerate it when it’s not being eaten. It will last for 3 days this way in the fridge, so you can definitely make it ahead of time and let the flavors develop.
Super tasty, and easy to make all year long. I’d love to try a Sephardic version of this dish, and my neighbor has a recipe I might borrow. Do you have your own charoset tradition?