Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Don't You Wish They All Could Be California Kugels?

Tonight's the last night of Chanukah and perhaps you are a wee bit tired of foods fried in oil, chocolate coins and sugary jelly doughnuts.  Then you may want to celebrate with something made with cheese or milk, since eating dairy foods is another holiday tradition.  Or if you don't celebrate Chanukah (aka Hanukkah), maybe you are just looking for a good brunch, lunch or light dinner dish that you can make ahead.  Whenever you serve it, this noodle pudding (kugel) is delicious.

California Kugel
Serves 6-8
Chock full of California fruits and crunch, this kugel is a riff on the popular frosted flakes or cornflake kugels I’ve eaten. It’s got lots of texture, is not overly sweet and has a creamy custard with a hint of spice and lemon. Pick a granola with some dried fruit and nuts for the best results. Store bought is fine, but if you’d like to try making your own, check out my husband’s granola recipe.

Like most noodle kugels, this one is a bit on the rich side. I’ve tried to compensate by using lower-fat dairy products where I could. Also, the large baking pan makes for a little thinner kugel. Use a 9” x 12” pan and bake a bit longer if you prefer a thicker noodle pudding.

Note: If your raisins and dried apricots are not moist, soak in hot water for 30 minutes or until softened and drain before using.

12 oz. package wide egg noodles
3 Tbs. butter, divided, plus extra for greasing pan
5 Tbs. melted butter, cooled, divided
4 eggs, beaten
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. minced lemon zest
8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz. low-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dried apricots (cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces)
1 ½ cups of granola

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and mix hot noodles with 2 Tbs. of butter.

In a large bowl, mix 2 Tbs. of the melted butter with the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest until well combined. Beat in (an electric hand mixer works well) cream cheese, sour cream and milk until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add buttered noodles and mix well.

Add in raisins and chopped apricots; stir until the dried fruit is evenly distributed. Pour mixture into a greased 9” x 14” pan. Toss the granola with the remaining melted butter and spread evenly over the top of the kugel. Chop remaining Tbs. of butter into small bits and scatter across the granola topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard is set and the top is browned. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

For  my savory dairy-free kugel and a decadent cinnamon bun kugel, please check out this post.
This recipe appeared in another context in the Temple Beth Abraham newsletter, the Omer.


Anonymous said...

The California Kugel sounds great, but I'll have to make some changes so it will fit in with a Shabbat meat meal.

FJKramer said...

This is very definitely a dairy kugel! I wouldn't have even thought to serve it with a meat meal! Maybe shabbat lunch or after a vegetarian meal?

You could try using non-dairy products, but a better choice would be to make a kugel that wasn't designed to be dairy. Try my savory and dairy free fideo kugel which is the second recipe in this post:

A note about any traditional Jewish recipes or menus on Blog Appetit. I work hard to respect the appropriate dietary laws for these recipes and menus. If something is of questionable kasruth in the dish, I'll point it out and suggest options.

Unknown said...

Love the post title!!