What is haroset?
Haroset is a mixture of chopped apples and nuts that plays a part in the traditional Jewish seder meal at Passover. By March, it's hard to get the kids excited about more apples, but they love making and eating haroset.
Ashkenazi or Sephardic?
Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe, like my Lithuanian ancestors, traditionally make haroset with brown sugar and cinnamon; Sephardic Jews from Spain, like my partner's family, traditionally make haroset with dried fruits like raisins, which they had more available in the Mediterranean area. At our mixed house, we do a little of both.
How to make Haroset:
Chop five apples into small pieces and compost the cores and seeds. (You can peel the apples or not, as you like.) Put the apple pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the juice of half a lemon, a cup of chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of chopped apricots or figs, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of wine (Passover wine if you are being careful). Mix and serve.
Will haroset keep?
You'll be able to use haroset the next day for the second Seder. In fact, the flavors blend better if it sits overnight. But it tends to get soggy and too strong-tasting after that, and nobody wants it anymore. What I do with the leftovers, once Passover is over, is to pour them into a pie crust and bake them as a sort of spicy apple pie. Everyone loves it!