Turkish Style Charoset (Parve)

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Passover is a universal holiday for Jews which has been celebrated for thousands of years. While the order of the Seder is the same for most Jewish communities, the symbolic food served on the holiday tends to be made differently for each group. Traditionally, in many Ashkenazi (Eastern European) communities charoset is made from apples, wine, cinnamon and walnuts, whereas in Sephardic communities they use dates and other dried fruit, fragrant spices, and then puréed the mixture into a paste. 
 
Jews from Turkey, which straddles both Europe and the Middle East, have taken elements from both recipes and combined them to make a delicious, rich, and filling charoset. This charoset recipe also pairs well with roasted chicken and brisket, so don’t be surprised if you see your guests enjoying long after the Seder is over.
 

Besides the fact that this recipe tastes amazing, it is super easy to prepare. I wrote down 10 minutes of cooking time but in reality that’s just prep work time for arranging your ingredients, i.e. checking the dates and coring and peeling the apples. As long as you have a food processor you’ll be done in a snap. If you don’t have one, just make sure to finely chop everything, but keep in mind your preparation time will increase substantially.

Cooking time: 10 minutes active / 25 minutes inactive

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 cups of whole walnuts

1 cup pitted dates (Remove pits and make sure to open and check for bugs)

2 cups of washed, peeled, and cored apples  (I like the “Red Delicious” variety)

1 cup of Manishevitz Concord Grape wine (substitute another sweet red if you don’t have it)

4 tablespoons of silan (date honey) (substitute honey)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Place walnuts in food processor and pulse until walnuts are chopped up very well. The goal is to keep things a bit chunky – so don’t finely ground the walnuts, but make sure you don’t leave any large pieces. Once you’re done, remove the walnuts and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Place apples in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Again the goal is small pieces, do not turn the apples into a puree. Remove the apple pieces once you’re done and add to the same large bowl as the chopped walnuts.
  3. Place date pieces in food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Add the date paste to the bowl with the apple and walnuts.
  4. Add the rest of your ingredients; the wine, silan and cinnamon to the bowl. Then using a spatula or spoon mix the ingredients together well.
  5. Let the mixture sit for about twenty minutes and then serve! If it’s still too chunky for your liking you can always put the mixture back in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds.
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