A little bit pudding, a little bit casserole, Kugel is a centuries-old Jewish dish traditionally served as a side sometimes a dessert that has undergone many transformations. Most commonly made from egg noodles or potatoes combined with eggs and/or milk, cream or soft cheese, a Kugel can be sweet or savory, maybe even a little bit of both.
The other day, my eye caught some Greek egg noodles (hilopites or χυλοπίτες) idly hanging around in a kitchen canister and I swear the first thing I thought to make with them was Kugel.
And within 10 minutes (okay 15 tops), my face was pressed up against the door of my oven as the aromatic noodle Kugel (I really love saying that) had already started baking and I waited quite impatiently for it to be done. Seriously, it is THAT simple: 10 minutes prep/60 minutes baking time. Then you’ll have to keep yourself from digging in until the Kugel adequately cools … for I implore you to wait as the results will be much better later rather than sooner.
Some modern-day renditions feature ground cornflakes, graham crackers, gingersnaps or caramelized sugar over top. But I like the idea of a simple noodle Kugel, not too sweet, not too heavy. Many Kugel recipes I’ve come across use quite a number of eggs, milk, sour cream, cottage cheese … you get the picture. Once I glanced over the recipe below on NYTimes.com though, I knew it was the one for me. I wanted to enjoy a Kugel but NOT all that fat from dairy product overdose. This recipe delivered on taste but kept things relatively healthy. Enjoy this for brunch this weekend and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Preheat over to 350 degrees and preheat a Pyrex bowl.
Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt until al dente (not mushy). Drain noodles and mix them in the heated bowl with the eggs, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, apples, oil and cinnamon. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top. Bake for one hour. Remove when golden brown and crispy on top. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.