Unlike the apple, nut, and wine-based Ashkenazi charoset, Sephardic charosets veer more toward dried fruit, balanced spices, and a variety of nuts. The result is a delightful texture and real depth of flavor. As a bonus, Sephardic charoset even looks more like the mortar that charoset was designed to symbolize.
- 1 1/2 cups red wine (recommended: cabernet sauvignon or Manischewitz)
- 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) red raisins
- 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) dried dates, chopped fine
- 4 ounces (3/4 cup) dried apricots, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) roasted almonds
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
Bring wine to a light simmer on medium heat, then stir in fruit and spices. Cook uncovered until fruit is well hydrated and wine has reduced to a thick syrup, about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste and set aside.
In a food processor, roughly chop almonds in short pulses. There should be no whole almonds remaining; a mix of large chunks and small crumbs is preferable. Remove almonds from food processor and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Add fruit mixture to food processor and pulse until fruit just begins to come together into a paste, 2 to 3 one-second pulses. Do not overprocess—large chunks of fruit should be intact.
Transfer fruit to mixing bowl and combine well with almonds. Stir in orange blossom water and additional salt if needed. Flavor of haroset will improve over time. Serve warm or at room temperature.