Perhaps more than any other food, charoset, the delicious fruit-and-nut paste eaten at the Passover seder, tells the story of the Diaspora, the wandering of the Jewish people. At my own seder this symbol of the mortar used by the Jews while enslaved in Egypt is one of the most popular dishes and certainly the most widely discussed. Each year I include at least five different versions, reflecting the countries in which Jews have lived as well as my own culinary wanderings. Our must-haves are date balls from Morocco, chestnut and pine-nut charosets from Venice, and, of course, the everyday apple-and-nut charosets of central and Eastern Europe, adapted with mango, pecans, and other newer ingredients in the United States.
- 2cups raisins
- 1cup pecans, toasted
- 1cup blanched almonds, toasted
- 1cup date paste (or 1 cup dried dates, chopped)
- 3Granny Smith apples, cut into chunks
- 2teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼cup sweet red wine, or to taste
- 1– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Yield: About 4 cups
- Step 1
Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, coarsely grind together the raisins and nuts, pulsing so as not to over-process. Add the date paste, the apples, and the cinnamon and mix well. Add sweet wine and lemon juice to taste.