Contributed by Melissa Roberts
Kugel is the ultimate Jewish comfort food. Its variations are infinite, and sweet or savory, diet food this is not.
As a centerpiece for a dairy-based post Yom Kippur break fast, sweet kugels punctuate the theme of a sweet year to come. This version has Italian notes, but riffing on a kugel theme is as American as adding canned pineapple to the base, or sprinkling corn flakes on top.
Ricotta and egg yolks, standing in for the more traditional cottage cheese and sour cream, add lightness and richness. Lemon zest and liqueur soaked tart cherries provide a refreshing and sophisticated counterpoint, and the egg pappardelle, is a playful substitute for egg noodles.
This creamy noodle pudding is a twist on the traditional dairy kugel many of us associate with brunch or a break fast meal. Lemony ricotta and egg yolks dotted with softened cherries provide just enough variation on the theme.
This recipe was developed and contributed by Melissa Roberts.
This kugel is DAIRY.
- 1/3 cup orange liqueur
- 8 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) dried tart cherries
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more softened butter for greasing dish
- ¾ lb egg pappardelle (preferably DeCecco)
- 2 lbs whole milk ricotta
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 whole lemon for garnish
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.
- Generously grease a 3 ½ quart shallow (2 inch deep) baking dish with some butter.
- Heat liqueur in a small heavy saucepan until it just begins to bubble. Add cherries, stir to coat, and simmer 2 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed and what’s left is syrupy. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt until al dente. Drain in a colander, then return to warm pot and add 2 tablespoons of the butter, tossing until noodles are coated.
- In a food processor, combine ricotta and ½ cup sugar. Let machine run until mixture is smooth.
- Add eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon zest, and salt. Process until combined.
- Add to pot with noodles and stir to coat.
- Fold in cherries, then transfer to buttered baking dish.
- Dot the top with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Loosely cover dish with foil and bake until kugel is beginning to set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 1 hour.
- Remove foil and continue to bake until top is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes.
- Peel large strips of zest from lemon and scatter over the top before serving.
Kugel tastes best the day it's made, but can be made and kept chilled 2 days ahead. Reheat, covered with foil, in a 350F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
It can also be frozen up to one month ahead. Reheat (do not thaw) in a 350F oven, covered, until warmed through, 30 to 40 minutes.