Passover starts this weekend and as someone who was raised Jewish, I’ve got lots of memories from Passover week as a kid!
I’ve wanted to do this Charoset recipe for, no joke, YEARS.
Charoset is a chunky slaw made from crisp sweet apples, toasted walnuts, sweet wine, honey and cinnamon so of course that sounds like it would be amazing with ice cream.
2021 and we finally did it.
There was always something exciting about the preparations for Passover week. It could’ve been just a change in routine, the start of Spring, the fun Passover food (at least it was “fun” at the start of the week but by the end it was more like “eh”).
We never kept Kosher growing up, except for Passover. We would set up a special folding table in our kitchen with a special table cloth, and we had a whole box of Passover silverware and plates that we used just for this week of the year. We even would get a special liner that would stick to the tabletops to cover them. This didn’t make our kitchen official “Kosher” but we tried our best for the symbolism and respect of the holiday.
The whole week we wouldn’t have any leavened bread of any kind! Instead, we ate Matzah! We got creative with our breakfasts and lunches and made things like Matzah French Toast and Matzah Pizza. My mom would make us something called Matzah Brei, which is really just matzah and fried eggs, and we’d eat that for breakfast with jelly.
But it wasn’t all just matzah! We would get these containers on Manischewitz Macaroons, some regular, some chocolate chip, and some all chocolate, and I can still smell that big punch of coconut when you first opened the can.
Speaking of specific smells, we would also get these chocolate covered marshmallow sticks and jelly rings and the smell of this chocolate will forever be in my memory. I was just at the store the other day looking for a box of matzah and the Passover section and I turned a corner and was HIT with the nostalgic smell of that chocolate and immediately saw my knew I was in the right place.
Once the whole house was prepared, it was time for the Passover Seder. A big dinner filled with symbolism with family to read the story of Passover together. Before the main meal, we would all take turns around the table reading from the Haggadah. This was the story of Passover mixed in with prayers and singing and small actionable steps throughout to symbolize certain parts of the story.
My favorite part of the story was always the plagues (stay with me, I know that sounds weird).
My mom had this bag of Passover themed toys and each item inside symbolized one of the plagues. As my Dad would read the plagues aloud in order, my Mom would pull the items from the bag and throw them to us around the table.
She had 3D glasses that represented darkness, plastic bugs for the locus, little styrofoam balls for the hail, bubble wrap to represent boils and even wind-up frogs! It was something silly that kept our interest as kids and I always looked forward to it.
The second best thing we looked forward to was the Afikoman! The Afikoman is actually a part of the Passover Seder but hiding the Afikoman is the part we were the most excited about. Yes, I said hiding. What started as a century old tradition many, many years ago, you would leave pieces of bread around your house in plain sight to remind you to get rid of any bread you may have tucked away somewhere before Passover begins. This evolved into a game where the adults hid a piece of bread or matzah around the house and at the end of the Seder, all the kids would race to find it. Whoever found the Afikoman would shout “Ah Ha!” and would be rewarded with a few dollars and lots of pride.
By the end of Passover week, I’ve had just about enough Matzah Pizza and macaroons to hold me over for the entire year.
This year, in honor of all my favorite Passover memories, we’re making Charoset Ice Cream!
Charoset translates from Hebrew as “clay” or “mortar” and represents the clay used between the bricks the Jews would lay as slaves in Egypt. It’s traditionally a chunky slaw you would eat with a TamTam (or small piece of Matzah) and it seemed like a perfect ice cream pairing!
Charoset Ice Cream
Honey Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 apple gala, fuji – chopped into cubes
- 1/4 cup walnuts toasted
- 2 tbsp sweet wine
- 1 tsp lemon or orange juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Honey Ice Cream
- Heat milk, 1 cup of cream and honey on stove until hot but not boiling.
- Temper in the egg yolks.
- Cook on low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain through a strainer into a bowl with remaining cream.
- Add vanilla and chill (4 hours or overnight).
- Churn to your ice cream machine's instructions.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Add into honey ice cream base and enjoy!