For 8 long days, we crave pasta, bagels, pizza and donuts, with matzo as our only (unsatisfying) alternative.  Matzo is an inherently tasteless, crumbly food which always needs savory toppings to appease our taste buds.  So it’s a good thing someone way back when invented charoset.  I would argue there is no better complement to matzo than the nutty, sweet goodness of charoset.  Though Passover is the perfect excuse to chop all those apples and pile them high on a piece of matzo, charoset can be a year-round treat. For those of you not keeping Passover, and for those of us who look back on this entry after we’ve made it through the 8 day diet, slap charoset on a piece of toast or sprinkle it over some yogurt. Let’s keep this mix going until next spring.

Aunt Sue’s Charoset 

Level: Easy

Total Time: 30 minutes (the apples take a long time to chop, so the more people helping, the less time it takes)

Servings: 8-10 people

8 Apples
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sugar (or honey) and ground cinnamon to taste
Passover wine to taste (about 1/4 bottle)

1. Peel and core the apples.

Photo by Nathaniel Harley

2. Chop apples into fine pieces (the smaller the better).

Photo by Mackenzie Barth

3. In a large pan, roast the walnuts over medium heat.
    Tip: The walnuts are finished when they become fragrant.  Be careful not to burn them! Small pieces will burn easily.
4. In a large bowl, combine apples and walnuts.  Mix well.

Photo by Mackenzie Barth

5. Add lemon juice, sugar (or honey) and ground cinnamon.  Mix well.
6. Pour in wine evenly across mix and then toss to coat all pieces.

Photo by Mackenzie Barth

7. Prepare in advance and store covered in refrigerator to improve flavor.