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This easy charoset recipe is made up of finely chopped apples and pears, walnuts, dried fruit, spices, and grape juice—a must-have for your Passover table! It’s a quick 10-minute recipe and so simple to make. Plus, it can even be made ahead, ready for your Seder celebrations!
Easy Apple & Walnut Charoset for Passover
There’s less than a month to go until Passover. And with it being one of the biggest Jewish holidays of the year, we’re already busy planning the food. Of course, no Passover dinner would be complete without charoset (or matzo ball soup)! This Passover charoset recipe combines apples, pears, walnuts, and grape juice for a simple yet delicious treat.
What is Charoset?
Charoset (also called haroset and charoises from the Hebrew word ‘cheres’ meaning clay) is a fruit and nut dish eaten at the Passover Seder. It’s made into a dark-colored paste meant to resemble the mud used to make bricks that the Israelites used in Ancient Egypt. Its sweetness is a fantastic way to offset the bitterness of the horseradish also found on the seder plate (maror).
Like many traditional dishes, Passover charoset has many regional (and household) differences. For example, the Eastern European version typically includes apples, nuts, cinnamon, and sweet wine. In comparison, Sephardic charoset usually focuses on more dried fruits like figs and dates and makes a thicker paste consistency.
No matter which version you make, the charoset recipe usually comprises some combination of:
Apple, fig, pomegranate, grape, raisin, walnut, almond, date, wine, saffron, cinnamon.
The recipe below is a typical Eastern European/ Ashkenazi charoset made with grape juice.
- Apple: Gala or Fuji apples would work. We used the latter. However, feel free to experiment with other varieties like Granny Smith apples, McIntosh, Jonathon’s, etc.
- Pear: We used a Bartlett pear, but any pear should work.
- Walnuts: You can use raw or lightly toasted (in a dry pan until fragrant) kosher walnuts. Pecans or hazelnuts would work in a pinch.
- Cranberries: We used dried cranberries, but raisins, regular or golden, would also work.
- Grape juice: Any kind would work well.
- Spices: We use cinnamon and nutmeg.
Optional add-ins & Recipe Variations
There are several simple substitutes and variations you can experiment with for this easy charoset recipe.
- Sweetener: A small amount of brown sugar or maple syrup could sweeten the mixture if it’s not sweet enough from the fried fruit. Sweeten to taste.
- Salt: A pinch of salt can help bring out the flavors more.
- Dates: Will add extra sweetness. Finely chopped.
- Lemon juice: A splash of lemon juice helps to bring together the flavors and enhance the overall charoset.
- Orange zest: Use the zest of one orange or lemon to help brighten the overall flavor.
- Ginger: A small amount of crystallized ginger will ramp up the flavor and add zing.
How to Make Charoset?
This charoset recipe requires just two simple steps.
- First, wash and finely dice the pear and apple. Finely chop the walnuts (or process them in a food processor to a crumb).
- Then, add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
For the best flavor, cover it and allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Then enjoy it with matzo or on the Seder plate, etc.
We don’t, but it’s up to you if you’d prefer to do so.
It’s best to use a firm, crisp apple. We use Fuji or Gala apples. However, you can experiment with other varieties like Granny Smith (which is more tart), Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Jonathan’s, Pink Lady, etc.
You may need to adjust the sweetness of the rest of the recipe based on the type of apple used.
Top Recipe Tips and Notes
- To cut down on prep time: Instead of hand-chopping the fruit and nuts, you can use a food processor to pulse them into smaller pieces. Be careful not to overprocess them, though.
- Adjust the texture: Traditionally, the charoset for Passover is ground down into a paste-like consistency to mimic mortar. However, some modern recipes keep larger chunks of each ingredient. So adjust it to your preference.
- If you’re making a large amount: You can chop the apples and pears into a big bowl of water to keep them from browning while you prepare the recipe. Then toss them with a small amount of lemon juice.
- For extra flavor: Toast the walnuts. You can do so in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir often and cook until fragrant.
How to Store?
Charoset looks best when served fresh, within 6-8 hours. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. This means it can also be made ahead!
If you are planning to make it ahead, though, it’s best to toss the fruit in a small amount of lemon juice to prevent browning.
More Vegan Apple Recipes
- Apple cinnamon oatmeal
- Vegan apple pie
- Simple apple bread
- Apple cinnamon waffles
- Apple pear pie
- Stuffed baked apples
- Crispy apple chips
Photos by Alfonso Revilla
Easy Charoset Recipe
- 1 fuji apple finely diced
- 1 bartlett pear finely diced
- ½ cup of finely chopped walnuts
- ½ cup of purple grape juice
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients until well-combined.
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