Given the tradition of spoon sweets in our cuisine, we’ve always made a puree of our harosi. There’s no reason not to make it chunkier if you like more texture. We use no cinnamon at all in this, and the wine is minimal, a symbolic gesture. You can be pretty loose with your interpretation – choose the nuts and apples you like from the list – but credit for these excellent proportions goes to my Aunt Rady, who has always been passionate for perfection.
1 ½ pounds fresh dates, pitted – Medjools are heavenly
1 pound dried Turkish apricots
2 or 3 sweet-tart apples – Macintosh, Macoun, Cortland, Royal Gala, or Fuji are all good choices.
1 ½ pounds nuts – any combination of almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts. Choose nuts that will complement your choice of apples.
1 teaspoon Passover wine
Prepare the nuts:
Preheat the oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake until they are very fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet promptly and transfer the nuts to a bowl to cool. If you’re using hazelnuts or pistachios, they’ll need peeling. Wrap these straight from the oven in a kitchen towel and when they’re cool enough to handle, rub them briskly between your palms to loosen and remove the chaff. Chop the toasted nuts coarsely or grind them in a food processor, but don’t make paste. Either way, you want texture.
Prepare the fruit:
Core and peel the apples and chop them, the dates and apricots coarsely. Put the fruit in a saucepan, fill with cold water just to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer gently until the fruit is tender. There shouldn’t be a lot of liquid left in the pot, but if there is, drain the fruit very briefly in a colander.
Choose your texture. Either continue with the chunky cooked fruit as is, or puree it (making sure it remains thick). Transfer the fruit to a glass or ceramic bowl, add the chopped or ground nuts and wine, and blend well with a wooden spoon.
Serve chilled. Refrigerate in glass jars to enjoy over the holiday.