Total time: 15 minutes
1/2 cup walnuts (about 2 ounces), plus walnut halves for garnish if desired
1/2 cup almonds (about 2 ounces)
8 ounces pitted dates (about 1½ cups), cut into chunks
3 tablespoons sweet or dry red wine, or red grape juice, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
About 4 pinches of ground cloves
About 2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
2 apples, such as Fuji or Gala (total about 12 ounces), peeled, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups)
Matzo (for serving)
1. Finely chop the one-half cup walnuts and almonds in a food processor, leaving small chunks. Place the chopped nuts in a small bowl.
2. Add the dates, 3 tablespoons wine, the cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper (if using). Pulse the mixture until fairly smooth or slightly chunky, according to your preference, adding more wine by the teaspoon to enable the mixture to blend. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
3. Add the grated apples to the date mixture and mix well. Add the chopped nuts and mix well. If the mixture is dry, add more wine, a teaspoon at a time, until it has the consistency of a spread.
4. To serve the charoset as a spread, spoon it into a shallow bowl; to serve it as haroset "truffles," roll small spoonfuls of it between your palms into balls of about three-fourths to 1 inch in diameter.
5. If you like, garnish the charoset with walnut halves. Serve with matzo.