Click here to view recipe.
Back in my catering days, I prepared hundreds of luncheons for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, funerals and various life cycle events. The most requested item on my menu? Kugel! (Pronounced KOO-gull). Kugel refers to a baked Jewish pudding, occasionally made with egg noodles, and it is often served for a Sabbath meal, or for a Jewish holiday such as Rosh Hashanah or after Yom Kippur for Break the Fast.
It is funny to me that this rich, dairy-laden, gluten-filled dish is so beloved by many Jewish people of Eastern European origin. When I would make an extra pan of kugel to bring home and feed my family twenty years ago, the kids would groan and complain, “NOT kugel again.” Because of their less than enthusiastic reception, I hadn’t really made kugel for my family too much until this Jewish New Year. And I had to laugh when my daughter-in-law emailed me for my recipe…how things change.
When I was growing up, our standard Klass family kugel was basically savory egg noodles held together with shmaltz (chicken fat) and eggs. No dairy, no sugar, nada. My ingredients and methods have morphed over the nearly twenty years I’ve been making this sweet creamy version for catering clients. I have grown to like and appreciate how good my recipe is – and I’m thrilled to share it with you.
A few things to note: First of all, it is super important to soak the white raisins in fresh orange juice for several hours to plump them and impart them with a distinctive orange flavor. Ditto the fresh orange zest. And don’t try lowfat or nonfat “sour cream”…to me it is an oxymoron. This isn’t a recipe you are going to eat on a daily basis, so use the real, full-fat stuff and enjoy the final dish.
Marilyn’s Orange White Raisin Noodle Pudding
- 12 oz of dried wide egg noodles, undercooked (see notes below)
- 3 Tbsp of melted butter
- 1 cup white raisins
- 2 large oranges
- 4 eggs
- 1 pint of full fat sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. table salt
- Zest from one orange (I use my microplane grater)
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon/sugar mixed to top
The day before (or several hours before) making this, remove the zest from one orange and squeeze the juice of both oranges. Wrap the zest in some foil and refrigerate.
Soak 1 cup of white raisins overnight in the orange juice, turning a few times. Place this in the refrigerator while they are soaking.
Two hours before you start “kugeling” (a term we used to say when making 12 pans of this for an event), butter a 9 x 13 pan, (or smaller if you want it higher).
Bring a 6-8 quart large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp table salt) to a boil. Drop in the entire bag of wide egg noodles, stir briefly and leave on high heat uncovered. Begin timing and cook for 5 minutes. The water may not return to boiling, but taste a noodle after this time and it should be a little chewy still. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Return the noodles to your pot and stir in melted butter. Stir in drained white raisins, and pour into the baking dish. Even out the top.
Beat the other ingredients in the order listed (eggs through zest), mix well with a whisk and pour on top of noodles, pushing the noodles down into the liquid. Smooth the top. (I use disposable gloves and pat it with my hands). Top with a mix of cinnamon/sugar and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a knife when inserted comes out clean, much like custard. It might seem greasy from the butter, but this sinks into the kugel as it cools. Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Kugel is good warmish, and there are those who love the crispy edges and those who love the inside pieces. Once cooled, cover well and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a month. You might even decide to have this for dessert!