Nana’s wooden bowl and chopping tool.

Every family has their own version of this Passover recipe. This is our family’s. My sister Maralee and I look forward to the ritual of making this together, chopping the apples by hand in our grandmother’s wooden bowl. When I was very little I asked my grandmother if I could have that bowl, which I think she received when she got married in 1920. She told me that she would give it to me when I got married. And now it is mine.


  • 20 small apples, peeled and cored — red delicious, gala, or a combination of your choice of a flavorful, sweet variety
  • 3-1/2 c. chopped walnuts (we grind these in a nut grinder)
  • 2-1/2 c. kosher wine (Manischewitz is our choice)
  • 7 tsp. cinnamon

Chop the apples until very small (see photo). Stir in the rest, a little at a time, tasting as you go. Add more or less of the nuts/wine/cinnamon to suit your taste.

The finished charoset on our seder plate.

Maralee peels the apples, cores them, and places them into cold water so that they don’t brown. (She likes to see how long she can make the peel.)

The chopping begins.

We’re getting there, but still more chopping to do. Maralee and I take turns.

We are finally satisfied with the small size of the apple pieces.

For favorite Passover recipes from my kitchen, please see Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen

passover promo shot

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