This Ashkenazi-style charoset with a couple twists is perfect for a small seder dinner, or as an appetizer or snack! Easily doubled or tripled for a crowd!
For ease of browsing, find more Pesach recipes in this Passover post.
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Why you'll love this recipe!
This charoset recipe is based on my taste memory of what I ate at Passover seders growing up, with a couple little twists. The basic Ashkenazic recipe for this seder staple is apples, toasted walnuts, cinnamon, red wine. To enhance it – I’ve added currants and some orange zest.
When I take my first bite of charoset each Passover, I wonder why I don’t make it more often. I love the crunchy apples against the more meaty nuts and that earthy, fragrant wine and cinnamon scent.
Whether you celebrate Passover or not, I encourage you to try a version of this to eat on crackers or even with cheese for a healthy and filling snack.
Ingredients you'll need
The basic ingredients for this dish are likely staples in your pantry. There are a few notable substitution and preparation guidelines.
- Apples: I like to use a mix of sweet and tart apples. Stick to crunchier varieties like Fuji, rather than softer varieties like Red Delicious or MacIntosh.
- Walnuts: I toast the walnuts for an extra depth of flavor. No walnuts? No problem. Use pecans.
- Red Wine: I admit I grew up eating this with Manischewitz wine but please don't feel compelled to do the same. Any red wine will work or try grape juice or apple juice if you want it to be alcohol free
- Cinnamon: Use more or less as your taste buds guide you.
- Currants: If you want to use the dried fruit but don't have currants, try chopping up some raisins into smaller pieces. Or experiment with other dried fruits like apricot, dates, cherries or cranberries.
- Orange zest: This adds a touch of freshness and bright flavor.
Steps to make this recipe
1. Chop and toast your walnuts.
2. Peel, core and chop your apple and sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice to retard any browning.
3. Once the walnuts have cooled a bit, mix with the apples and if using , add the currants.
4. Add cinnamon, wine and orange zest.
5. Mix and taste for flavor, adjust if needed.
Check out my charoset web story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Charoset gets better tasting with time so feel free to make this hours or even a day in advance.
- Corollary to number 1: Leftovers also keep well.
- The smaller you chop the nuts and apples, the better the charoset will stay on your matzo when you eat it.
Charoset is a chopped fruit and nut-based mixture. If you are of Ashkenazic descent, like me, you may have grown up eating chopped apples and walnuts mixed with Manischewitz wine - this recipe is a variation of that style. If you are of Sephardic descent, your charoset likely has many dried fruits in it and may or may not have nuts. Another delicious variation is Iraqi charoset with walnuts and date syrup.
Charoset symbolizes the mortar that the Israelite slaves used to lay bricks. Like all traditional foods, variations abound. Traditionally charoset is served during the seder as a Hillel sandwich - which is charoset on matzo with horseradish. Sounds strange but it's actually quite delicious. Or maybe it just tastes good because by the time you eat it during a seder, you are so hungry you will eat anything!
Absolutely, as mentioned above, there are many variations, including an Iraqi style that is just date syrup and nuts. Having said that, make any version, even with wine in the recipe, and substitute in apple or grape juice or even try pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar. Just taste and adjust with added sweetness if needed.
Other OMG! Yummy Passover Recipes
Check out my Passover post for all of my Pesach-ready recipes. And I would definitely recommend serving this with matzo ball soup, or brisket or as a light lunch with a salad, in addition to its traditional place on the seder table .
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- 1 medium sized apple, peeled, cored, chopped
- Juice of ¼ of a lemon
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
- ¼ cup currants (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 – 3 tablespoon of kosher wine or red wine
- ¼ teaspoon orange zest (optional)
- Chop and toast your walnuts
- Peel, core and chop your apple
- Sprinkle the apple with a bit of lemon juice to retard any browning
- Once the walnuts have cooled a bit, mix with the apples and if using , add the currants
- Add cinnamon and wine and orange zest if using.
- Mix and taste for flavor, adjust if needed.
Charoset gets better tasting with time so feel free to make this hours or even a day in advance. Leftovers also keep well.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g