Executive Vice President, the James Beard Foundation; Author, Kitchen Sense (Clarkson Potter, 2006)
Although the order of the evening was potato pancakes at our Second Annual Latke Lovers' Cookoff, one of the dinner’s highlights was this sweet noodle pudding. Prepared by longtime Foundation staffer and cookbook author Mitchell Davis, the kugel is good either as a side dish or a dessert. The secret, said Davis’s mother, Sonny, who provided the recipe, is to use a chunky, homemade applesauce. The large pieces of cooked apple are like little yummy surprises in the finished kugel.
- 5 pounds cooking apples, Northern Spy, Gala, Empire, or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 pound medium egg noodles
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups chunky homemade applesauce
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces orange juice concentrate (defrosted, but not diluted)
- 7 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
To make the applesauce, place apples, water, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a small, heavy saucepan and cover. Set over a medium flame and bring to a simmer, stirring to be sure the apples don’t stick. Turn down the heat, and continue cooking until the apples have turned to a lumpy mush. Cool and use in the kugel recipe or enjoy all by itself.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Generously butter a shallow 2-quart casserole dish, about 9 x 12 inches.
Cook the egg noodles in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, but do not rinse, and return to the pot. Add the butter and stir with the hot noodles until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into the buttered baking dish.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the noodles on the top of the kugel have turned a crispy, dark brown.
12 to 15 servings