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Charoset, an essential part of any Seder. “Charoset symbolizes the bricks and mortar used by the Hebrews in building store-houses and cities for the Pharaoh in ancient Egypt.”* At one point in the Seder a little sandwich is made from small pieces of matzo, charoset, and the bitter herb. So, of course, the first Seder Adam and I hosted I looked up a recipe and dutifully chopped up some apples, threw on some walnuts, sprinkled it with cinnamon, and splashed some grape juice on top. And I didn’t think much more about it. Except, every year, there was nearly as much charoset left over after the meal than there had been at the beginning.

Then, two years ago I got wise. (Well, really I just got tired of peeling and chopping all those darn apples!) I cruised the internet for some variations on the tried and true apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and grape juice combo and discovered that there are about as many ways to make charoset as their are Seders.  Some places in North Africa they use bananas! So, done with chopping, I got out the food processor and flung open the cabinets to figure out what could go inside.

The result was a faster, easier, more tasty charoset than I had ever made before. Not only did most of it get eaten as a side dish during the main meal, the little bit of leftover had multiple options for a next incarnation: spooned into plain yogurt, baked in a pasty, spread on toast. This is a great addition to the Passover Seder and to your stomach!




  • 6 Cortland apples, cored and roughly chopped (skin on)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds (unsalted)
  • 10 pitted dates
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup grape juice


  1. Core and roughly chop the apples.
  2. Place the apples, nuts, and dried fruit into the food processor and pulse until its volume has decreased by 1/3 – 1/2.
  3. Add the zest, spices, and juice.
  4. Turn on the food processor and wait for all the ingredients to mix into a rough paste.
  5. Can be made up to two days in advance and kept in a covered dish in the refrigerator.

Cooking time (duration): 10

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 12


* From http://4passover.tripod.com/seder.html