Special Feature


Emita Levy's Charoset

by Rabbi Jo David



  • 10 oz pitted dates
  • 12 oz. dark dried figs
  • 8 oz raisins—gold or black
  • 2 apples, cored and peeled
  • a little lemon juice, if needed
  • 4 oz walnuts
  • Cherry cordial to moisten
  • ground cinnamon

Note: While these amounts work perfectly, I've found that this recipe is very flexible and that the amounts of the dried fruit can be varied as long as one is cautious with the apples, which add a great deal of moisture. The consistency should be one of a slightly moist, but thick paste.


1. In a food processor or a blender, using the cutting blade, reduce the dried fruits, the nuts and the apples into a paste. Do this by putting small amounts of the ingredients in the bowl, process them, transfer to a mixing bowl and continue until all the ingredients are in the mixing bowl.

Note: I've done this in a variety of ways, all of which work. You can process each ingredient separately, or a little of each together. On balance, I think working with each ingredient separately produces a smoother paste.

2. Mix all the processed ingredients together. If the mixture tastes a little too sweet, add a little lemon juice. (In Emita's original recipe, she used fresh quince instead of apples. The quince was a little more tart than the apples, so when using apples she sometimes added lemon juice. This is definitely to the taste of the cook. I use Macintosh apples and don't use lemon juice because I like a sweeter charoset. However, it might be interesting to use green apples for a more tart taste.)

3. Add the cherry cordial to moisten the mixture a little bit. This can be made several days ahead and refrigerated. It gets better with age.

4. On the day of the seder, roll the paste into balls the size of walnuts. Cover a sheet of wax paper or the bottom of a flat dinner plate with cinnamon. Roll the balls in the cinnamon until they are completed coated.

5. Arrange the coated balls on a flat tray, cover with wax paper, and store in the refrigerator until the seder.

Passover Cuisine—Not Just Small Potatoes

Passover Cookbooks and Recipes


This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Modified February 2007

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