Let’s start at the beginning of the meal. This is my easiest Charoset. It’s traditional in the sense that it’s an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) recipe. I add a little brown sugar instead of white sugar and it gives it just a bit more character. This makes about 4 cups, but you can easily double it. My family loves it, so I always make a double batch. Remember, while a reminder of the mortar used in making bricks for Pharaoh, charoset is really just a sweet condiment of apples and wine!
3 medium Fuji apples (or any other kind you like), peeled, cored and finely diced (use processor to make your life simpler) I usually use whatever is in the house, but on Passover I go through so many apples, so buy what you like (I always like Granny Smith because they are nice and tart)
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (buy them pre-chopped)
1/2 cup sweet red wine such as Manischewitz Extra Heavy Malaga or just Concord Grape is fine
*20 pitted dates, chopped; or 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
*for a bit of extra added flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger (optional)
After chopping apples, stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Keep in refrigerator ’til ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. You can also pulse everything together in processor, just be very careful not to over-process. I often do this to save time. You don’t want it too fine, so just go gently with the processor if you go that route. I do it in the processor, and I know exactly how I like it to come out, so go easy with the chopping. If it’s a little dry or too thick, you can always add more wine. I find this always tastes better after it sits and allows the wine to really soak and ripen for 24 hours. Before serving, check for consistency and add a little more wine, if necessary.