Thursday, April 12, 2007


Now that is a lot of kugel.

There are many things that I miss about my mother since she passed away. Too many to get into here. Passover was always a big production in our house and my mother's kugel was always top dog for me. The sweet noodle kugel that she made for the High Holidays was my preference but the matzo kugel that she made for passover was equally as tasty.

Kugel is very simple to make since it is basically a noodle or matzo pudding but I have never bothered to make it myself. For Passover this year I figured why not and while the results were not the most visually appealing the general consensus was that it was quite tasty.

The usual problem with matzo kugel is that the matzo makes the kugel very dry. Since one does not eat unleavened bread on Passover, noodle kugel is out of question.

The recipe I used seemed to be fairly common for a matzo kugel:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 20-ounce can unsweetened pineapple slices or chunks, 1/2 cup pineapple juice reserved
8 matzos, broken in 1 1/2-inch-by-2-inch pieces
3/4 cup raisins
4 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

My computer is still in the process of being rebuilt so I have not had a chance to edit the photo for size, so here we go.

I started with an egg matzo rather then the traditional salted or unsalted matzo. The egg matzo was kosher for Passover so I felt that I was being true to the recipe. Egg matzo has a much softer feel then normal matzo. I broke the matzo into pieces and let soak for about 5 minutes in water to soften it up.

I had my sou chef mix the wet ingredients together. This would serve as the custard component. The raisins were covered with water to also soften them up and the brown sugar measured out into my new Oxo measuring cup which allows me to read the volume from the top.

The butter was melted into the baking dish with my new favorite method (I put the measured amount of butter into the dish as the oven pre-heats), then the brown sugar was spread on top.

Next came the pineapple

Then the wet ingredients are mixed together with the drained raisins and the matzo. The matzo was drained and the excess water was squeezed out. The whole thing was then pour into the baking dish.

There was some extra matzo left over and I covered the kugel with the pieces of matzo for no other reason then why not.

Sort of looks scary at this point. The whole thing was baked for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then it was pulled out and let cool for another 15 minutes before serving.

My attempt at being artsy with the photo

Much better angle and you can see how the custard has set up. To be forthright, I did not know how this would turn out. Kugel, like matzo ball soup, is deceptively simple to make but the results can be disastrous. Everyone gave my version 2 forks up and I will certainly do a noddle kugel later in the year.

1 comment:

T.W. Barritt said...

I really love these kinds of recipes -- starch, sweet fruit and custard -- what could be better! Looks really good!