Charoset Ice Cream

charoset ice cream
I love ice cream.

We both do, Mike and I.

Any time of year.   Minus ten outside, bowl of ice cream please. We impatiently await Tastee Freez aka The Freeze reopening in spring and joy of joys, hearing the soft serve ice cream truck clattering down our block that first really warm day….ah yes.

Ice cream and I, we go way back.  Way back.  I love to eat it.  I love to make it.  Ice cream is awesome.

Visits to Greg’s Frozen Custard as a grown up with my folks. A frozen dog treat business (in hiatus) thanks to Hailey. A stint of summers working at a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop were my teenage years.  My brother and I used to make milkshakes for the family with vanilla ice cream and Nestle Quik.  Heh.  We went for cones at Dairy Queen a bunch when I was even younger.

So ice cream, love it, and while it’s not technically a baked good, it is dessert and that definitely qualifies here.

But what the heck is Charoset Ice Cream
, you query.

Growing up we celebrated all the Christian and Jewish holidays to some degree.  When I found out the vast majority of kids did not, it was a confusing moment.  Weird to me it was but ok.

Around this time of year is both Easter and Passover.  While I remember Easter with the baskets of hollow chocolate bunnies with sugary eyes, candies, and bright green cellophane grass outside my bedroom door in the morning, the hunt for candy around the house, I remember Passover a bit more vividly.

Every year we’d go to Bob and Shirley’s house.  The Seder, the search for the afikoman, the exchange of it for gifts of coins (which I still have!), loads of reading aloud, my brother mispronouncing the word “herbs” and me not-nicely picking on him for it (sorry Jeff), the grumbling tummies, the matzo ball soup, Elijah popping by for a visit.

But one aspect of it most specifically:  charoset.  The best part.

is a mix of fruit, nuts, sweet wine, cinnamon, and honey.  Generally speaking.  Shirley would make hers with apples and, well, I’m not sure what else but I could never stop eating it.

And all we’d get was a tiny little splop to scoop with matzo.  One bite.  I’d ration it out.  Yep, I would.  And that was supposed to last me until next year?!  Ugh, more please!  I vaguely remember one year she started putting out a big dish of it, probably weary of attendees asking for more.

Her recipe is unknown to me but it’s still emblazoned in my mind, all these years later.  Clearly.  I can almost taste it.  Oh.  So good.

So when I was trying to come up with an idea for a Passover dessert, which heh is tricky as most Passover desserts leave uhh a lot to be desired, the first thing that popped into my mind was something-with-charoset.  Weirdly, there are not a lot of recipes out there for a charoset related dessert.

The idea behind choosing this is multi-fold really:  1. The same ol’ same ol’ Passover desserts are well, same ol’, 2.  it’s nice to try something new, 3.  um ice cream, 4. um charoset, 5. something that isn’t just solely Passover specific, anyone can enjoy this any time, 6. I like apples, and 7. um, ice cream.  A custard-y ice cream at that, yummmm-eee.

Is it 100% kosher for Passover? I thought my research said yes (except the vanilla extract part) but that may not be accurate. Do let me know. (Although if meat is served at the meal, I suppose it’s not, hmph.)

The premise behind Kale & Caramel’s recipe was quite sound, I needed to rearrange it a tad though.

cream, wine, honey and egg yolks prep
This is the first time I’ve ever purchased Manischewitz, heh. What to do with the rest of the bottle?! Maybe I’ll leave it on the porch for Elijah.
Start by pouring the milk and cream into a sauce pan.  If you’re using a non-stick’er, be sure to get a silicone coated whisk.*  Trust me, it’s worth it.  Add the honey and the salt and turn the burner to medium low.  Give several stirs but you don’t need to babysit it.

heating up the dairy in a pot on the stove
Yipes, bad photo, my apologies.
Once it gets nice and warm, you catch wisps of steam rising, temper it into your three egg yolks.  Not hard, don’t panic over the fancy word.

about to temper egg yolks
Yeah, don’t use a narrow measuring cup here, not enough room to whisk. Use something larger.
Do this by having your yolks in a bowl, ladle out about a quarter cup of the hot liquid and slowly, while whisking briskly, slowly dribble it into the eggs.  Don’t stop whisking.  Add more liquid, whisk, liquid, whisk, until the eggy liquid has warmed.

egg yolks tempered
All nicely warmed without cooking the yolks into a lumpy mess.
Pour this warm eggy mix through a fine mesh strainer* back into the sauce pan and turn the heat up to medium, medium-high, just above medium somewhere.  Now you must stir constantly.  Not a good time for the pooch to have a potty emergency, I know.

straining the tempered egg yolks into the pan
But wait, didn’t I just not lumpy up the eggs? I know — sometimes little lumps happen so the strainer will catch them.
This whisking will go on for what feels like for-freakin’-ever, about twenty minutes or so until everything has thickened gloriously and it coats the back of a spoon.

clean finger line through custard on back of spoon
Let it go longer than this, a bit thicker. I got tired, heat wasn’t up enough, what can I say. It still worked fabulously so don’t stress about a perfect line on the back of that spoon.
Remove from the heat and add your vanilla.  Here I strained for one more good measure but it’s not necessary.  You can either put the custard into an ice bath to cool it quick like I normally do or you can cover it with plastic directly onto the liquid and refrigerate until it’s completely cool or overnight.

Pffft, overnight, yeah right.  Who’s got that kind of patience?!

placing ice cream base in ice bath
Once it’s cool enough, at minimum room temperature, into your ice cream machine it goes.

I’ve had the older version of this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker* for eons now and it does the job spot on.  Totally recommend it.  And it’s not expensive really either.  Plus, uh, homemade ice cream?!  Duh!  Infinitely better than store-bought.  And in my house?  The canister is stored in the freezer, ready to go at the drop of a hat.

While your ice cream is churning, make the charoset.  Toast the walnuts then give ‘em a chop.  Chop up your apple, no need to peel but you can if you’d like.  Dump everything into a bowl and stir.  Although, come to think of it, making the charoset at least the day before would be most ideal. If you can’t, no biggie.

mixed up charoset in a bowl
Nom nom nom a-nom nom. Shirley’s was much more finely chopped than this but a rougher chop is good for the ice cream.
Once the ice cream is ready, scoop that gloriousness into a freezable container and add in your charoset, stir and swirl it up.  Place a piece of wax paper directly onto the ice cream surface itself and pop it into the freezer to set up.

layering ice cream with charoset in freezer container

And bingo, Charoset Ice Cream!
ice cream in a dish
What did Mike, my not-having-attended-a-Seder sweetheart, think of this?

“It’s good. I like it. (He says with a surprised lilt to his voice.) It needs something though.”

And I agree. Soooo if I give this a whirl again, here are my suggestions:

I’d bump the wine quantity back closer to the original recipe of four tablespoons (I used two), maybe to three, and I would definitely consider making the charoset chunkier than I did but also cooking the apples first. Or half the apples maybe.  That’d be nice.  And I’d add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the ice cream mix itself.

dished ice cream for display
If anything, hold onto this recipe for the custard base as it’s quite an exciting tastebud explosion of thick and rich creamy honey goodness.

Keep that door open for Elijah, an eye out for the Easter bunny, and happy ice cream eating!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Charoset Ice Cream

Charoset Ice Cream

8 servings (1 quart)
Prep time
15 Min
Cook time
50 Min
Inactive time
4 Hour
Total time
5 H & 4 M
A rich, thick and insanely creamy honey custard ice cream with apples, walnuts, sweet wine, and cinnamon perfect for Passover, or not Passover.


Ice Cream Custard Base
  • 2 cups (473 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 cups (473 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (168 g) honey
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) vanilla extract (or ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean to be Kosher)
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5 g) fine sea salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (113 g) chopped apples
  • ½ cup (57 g) chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons (47 g) Manischewitz (or any sweet wine)
  • 2 teaspoons (14 g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) ground cinnamon
  • 3 pinches sea salt


  1. Be sure to freeze the ice cream maker’s container well in advance of making this recipe. Ideally, make the charoset in advance as well, preferably a day ahead but making it the day of is fine.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine with a nice whisking the milk, cream, honey, and salt, warming gently on medium-low until steam is rising.
  3. Add the egg yolks to a small bowl and when the milk mixture is warmed, temper the egg yolks. Do this by ladling some of the warmed milk slowly into the egg yolks while briskly whisking. This keeps the yolks from cooking into clumps. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup total to the yolks.
  4. Pour the tempered egg mix through a fine mesh strainer into the sauce pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Whisk constantly for about 20 minutes until the custard coats the back of a spoon thickly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Set up an ice bath to cool the custard quickly with a large bowl filled with ice and water, pouring the custard into a smaller bowl and insetting it into the ice. Conversely, you can cover the custard with plastic directly on the surface and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  6. Once the custard has cooled, add it to the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions, about 20-25 minutes.
  7. To make the charoset, begin by toasting the walnuts until they are mildly fragrant. Combine the apples, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, sea salt, and wine in a small bowl and stir.
  8. When the ice cream is ready, scoop it into a freezable container and add the charoset. Using a big spoon or spatula, stir and swirl the mix into the ice cream. Cover with a piece of wax paper directly onto the surface of the ice cream and place in the freezer to set up for a few hours.


For a softer bite and richer apple flavor, try cooking a portion or all of the apples ahead of making the charoset. The wine can be increased to 1/4 cup (59 ml). Optional: add 1 tsp (3 g) of cinnamon to the ice cream base.

Adapted from Kale & Caramel

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charoset, ice cream
Jewish American
Created using The Recipes Generator

*The silicone coated whisk, fine mesh strainers, and Cuisinart ice cream makers are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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