Make Your Own | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Make Your Own

Make Your Own

6 cups

30 min

4 hrs

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I know Ben & Jerry’s charoset-flavored ice cream is so last week, but that’s how long it took me to perfect my own recipe, which we will now share with you. You’re welcome!

Because you can’t buy the Ben & Jerry’s stuff in the United States. You have to travel to Israel for a scoop. And then, you must search for it in some small store; the supermarkets apparently are not stocking it in the Pesach aisles.

All the hype piqued my interest. But a trip to Israel wasn’t in my plans, so, food writer that I am, I invented my own version. Avi Zinger, chief executive officer of Ben & Jerry’s Israel, mentioned on BreakingIsraelNews that it contains dates, apples, wine, cinnamon and nuts mixed in to a vanilla base. I ran with that.

You should know that in taste tests done in Israel, charoset ice cream was not a big hit with children. Grown ups liked it but some said it wasn’t charoset-ish enough.

Well, it is ice cream after all, not charoset.

I think my homemade version is quite tasty and really does taste like the better half of a Hillel Sandwich. Try it yourself! The recipe is easy. I used toasted almonds but you could substitute walnuts if you prefer, or leave out the nuts completely.

Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher in Stamford, CT. She is the author of Hip Kosher and The Modern Kosher Kitchen. Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, at, friend on Facebook, Twitter at @RonnieVFein.



Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Leather


1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

6 dates, preferably medjool, pitted and chopped

2 small Golden Delicious or other sweet apples, peeled and chopped

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup sweet Passover wine

3 cups half and half, light cream or whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped nuts, optional

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the brown sugar and mix it in. Add the dates and apples and stir the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Sprinkle in the cinnamon. Pour in the wine. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Mash the fruit to make the mixture pasty and set it aside.
  2. While the fruit is cooking, heat 2 cups of the cream over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, the egg yolks and salt at medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and thick. Gradually add the heated cream and mix the ingredients completely. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour in the remaining cream and blend it in thoroughly. Stir in the fruit mixture. Refrigerate until cold (at least 45 minutes). Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions. Place in a freezer to harden completely.