This is going to kill my brother. As if some extra laws of Ashkenazi kashrut live in his head, to him there is a right kind and a wrong kind of charoset. Hell’s bells! There isn’t even just one way to spell it!!
Since one of my Passover guests was bringing the “right” kind (traditional Ashkenazi made with apples and walnuts) I decided to play around with a Sephardic themed recipe of my own creation. Because Sephardic Jews spread so broadly across the Mideast, Africa, India, the “-stans”, all around the Mediterranean and even China there are dozens of variations on this (usually) sweet mix of (usually) fruits and nuts that stands in for the mud that the Hebrew slaves made into bricks while slaves in Egypt. Many are made with dates as the primary ingredient but since I don’t really like dates I decided to start with about 15 or so dried figs. I added a handful each of dried apricots and apples about a cup of blanched almonds, cinnamon and mace and let the food processor go to work adding a goodly splash of sweet red wine. Yum!
Well, today I had about half a cup of each left anbd I decided to do the unthinkable! I mixed them together. No bolt of lightening; no hail, locust or boils. I talked to my first-born child this afternoon and she is fine.
And so melting-pot charoset is born. It makes a great Hillel sandwich with my freshly grated chrain too!