Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Apple Matzo Kugel

When I was away last week (visiting my sister in New Orleans), we threw our own seder (a first for both of us). Needless to say, it was extremely casual and much quicker than most seders I've attended. We basically hit the highlights and were eating in about 20 minutes. It was one of those times when I was glad to be a grown up and relished the fact that I have more control now than when I was a kid (I didn't think I was going to make it through some of my grandparents' marathon seders). If there hadn't been wine that tastes like grape juice there to sedate us kids, I probably wouldn't have.

Anyway, about the kugel. I love a good kugel. But I never thought I would like a matzo kugel because I've had some truly awful ones. Plus I'm a freak for noodle kugel with cream cheese - it's just pure comfort food. So I had fairly low expectations of this recipe. But I was pleasantly surprised. It obviously wasn't creamy and cheesy, but it was sweet and delicious and had a nice texture (slightly reminiscent of bread pudding).

Makes 12 servings

4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, cored and cut into medium dice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
6 plain matzos
8 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, medium, chopped
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, for casserole topping

1.      Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2.      Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice, set aside in a medium bowl.
3.      Break the matzo into 2- to 3-inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft but not mushy. Set aside.
4.      While the matzo soaks, beat the eggs with a wire whisk in a large bowl until blended. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins, and apricots.
5.      Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzo and add the matzo to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 10- x 14-inch pan. Dot the top of the kugel with the 4 tablespoons of butter.
6.      Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Kugel can be made 2 days ahead, cooled, and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350° F. oven.

from Epicurious, April 2001 by Abigail Kirsch
Granny Smith apples
squeezing orange juice on apples/brown sugar
apple mixture
matzo pieces soaking
mixing eggs, salt, sugar, cinnamon, butter, raisins & apricots
adding the soaked matzo

I think I let mine soak a little too long. It was
a little mushy. But the kugel was still great.
everything mixed
in the pan, with butter on top

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