Friday, December 2, 2011

Grandma Lee's Apricot Kugel Recipe

This is my grandmother's kugel recipe. She was very pleased when I asked for it years ago- as I was hosting my first Seder and wanted to wow my mostly non- Jewish friends. They were thrilled with the kugel, and miffed by the frozen Boca Burger on the Seder plate. I was vegetarian at the time and would not visit a butcher for a shank bone.
It has been on the menu for nearly every event since. Requested for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's brunch, Ides of March brunch (togas optional), April Fool's brunch, and so many other festive, food centered events.
I'm probably breaking some sort of unwritten code for good granddaughters by posting this recipe, but you'll thank me.

What is kugel?
For the uninitiated, it's a slightly sweet, dairy laden noodle pudding. Now stop drooling.

16 oz package medium egg noodles, cooked
6 oz Philadelphia cream cheese (Grandma specified! A block is 8 oz- feel free to use the entire thing. I do.)
6 eggs
1- 1/2 sticks of meted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 cans of apricot halves, drained (I buy the ones in fruit juice)
1 can (at least 12 oz, 16 is better) of apricot nectar (in a pinch, peach nectar can be used- it's usually easier to find)

Optional topping ingredients: (I forgo this step because the kugel doesn't need it. Though tasty either way.)
3 cups crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 stick melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
mix together and set aside

Grease a large casserole dish- using the empty butter wrappers works perfectly.
Put cooked and drained egg noodles in buttered casserole, pour and stir in melted butter.
Cream the cream cheese with the sugar.
Add the beaten eggs and thoroughly mix together.
Add the milk and apricot nectar to the mix, pour over buttered egg noodles.
Arrange the apricot halves on the top.
Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, or the corn flake crack mixture, or both.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least 1 hour, up to 90 minutes or so- based on the shape of your dish.
If given a gentle shake, the pudding should be set. The top will brown slightly.

Honestly, it's the perfect comfort food. Chock- full of carbohydrates and fatty dairy, with a pleasant fruit flavor. Wonderful with turkey, garlic confit brisket, pot roast, even pork roast. Not to mention at any temperature as leftovers...