An inextricable part of the Seder, haroseth represents the mortar that the Jews were forced to work with as slaves in ancient Egypt. Recipes vary widely, depending on region; this one leans toward the Mediterranean, with its dates and warm spices. It was given to us by Tanya Holland, chef-owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side Baking Co. in Oakland.
4 firm, tart-sweet apples, such as Fuji or Gala, unpeeled
1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
6 pitted Medjool dates, halved lengthwise and chopped (to yield about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 large orange)
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons tawny port
1/4 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
How to Make It
Chop 1 1/2 apples into 1/2-in. dice. Coarsely chop remaining 2 1/2 apples, put in a food processor with all remaining ingredients except sliced almonds, and pulse until blended but still quite coarse.
Turn mixture into a bowl and stir in diced apples. Sprinkle with sliced almonds just before serving.
Make ahead: Up to 1 day (except toasted almonds), chilled.
Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side Baking Co., Oakland