“Um, What is a Kugel?” When I first asked this question at a Sabbath dinner, it was like I had just stamped the letters “G-E-N-T-I-L-E” on my forehead.
As it turns out, kugels are as common in a Jewish Ashkenazi kitchen as jambalaya is in my Louisiana home. Kugels are baked puddings, usually with egg noodles or potatoes as the base. Their eggs give them a custardy essence and they are usually served as a side dish for Sabbath lunches. Besides those commonalities, no two kugel recipes are alike. They can be savory or sweet; parve or dairy; fruit based or vegetable based. Over the next few weeks I’ll be rolling out my various kugel recipes but feel free to search the vast array of kugel recipes there are out there.
1 pound flat egg noodles
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups sour cream
1 ½ cups milk
2 cups cottage cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup of dried fruit (optional)
2 cups cornflakes, crushed
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9×13 baking pan (or even slightly larger).
2) Cook the egg noodles in salted boiling water until they are al dente. Toss noodles in 4 tblsp butter.
3) With an electric mixer, beat on low the cream cheese, sugar, and 4 tblsp butter until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time while mixer is going. Mix in the sour cream, milk, cottage cheese, vanilla, and salt.
4) Using a large spoon, add the noodles to the batter and fold them into the egg mixture. If adding dried fruit, now is the time to stir that in as well.
5) Pour the kugel into the greased baking pan.
6) For the topping, combine the cornflakes, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the kugel.
7) Bake for one hour. The top should be golden brown and the sides pulling away from the pan. Let cool slightly before serving.
*Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos.