The Remix: Shavuot Kugel

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Out of the oven, ready to slice. Amy Kritzer/JW

The Meyer lemon glaze takes this noodle pudding to another level.

This is the next installment in our series The Remix, in which we seek to gently rework the more challenging dishes in the Jewish culinary canon. With a little bit of love, we’re convinced we can make any dish delicious, even ones that seem a bit bizarre to the modern palate.

Shavuot is coming up and usually that means cheesecake, cheesecake and more cheesecake. I get the rationale. Receiving the 10 Commandments is a pretty big deal, and cheesecake is serious dessert. Baking a cheesecake takes time, patience and skill. Kind of like a d’var Torah, or sermon, wrapped up in a pretty, high-calorie dessert. But we did it last year, in lollipop form. Perfect for a midnight snack during your all-night study session.

Blintzes are also dairy friends, and I’m not one to turn down a straight-up cheese plate. And then there is kugel. The name evokes something your Aunt Muriel would whip up. Don’t get me wrong; I love my Aunt Muriel; she’s supersweet. But even she isn’t nearly as sweet as a typically saccharine kugel.

So how do we remix this? Tart blueberries, goat cheese and toasted almonds balance the sugar rush. But it’s the Meyer lemon glaze that will have you licking your fingers and brings this kugel to dessert level, and definitely worthy of Shavuot.

Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, Texas. She blogs at What Jew Wanna Eat.

Servings & Times
Yield:
  • Serves 12
Active Time:
  • 30 min
Total Time:
  • 1 hr 30 min
Ingredients

For noodles:

1 pound wide egg noodles

1/2 cup butter, plus more for buttering pan

1 cup whole milk

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Zest from 1 Meyer lemon (can use a regular lemon)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound container sour cream

1/2 pound goat cheese

1-pound container cottage cheese

2 pints fresh blueberries, washed and dried very well

1/2 cup slivered almonds

For Meyer lemon glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon juice from a Meyer lemon

Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Then butter a 13x9-inch glass or ceramic deep baking dish.
  2. Cook noodles in salted water according to package directions until al dente.
  3. Drain well, then return the noodles to the pot, add butter and gently mix, completely coating the noodles. Admire the delicious simplicity of buttered noodles.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest and salt. Then mix in sour cream, goat cheese and cottage cheese.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix blueberries with remaining ¼ cup sugar and set aside. Combine the dairy mixture with the noodles. Then mix in blueberries just until combined.
  6. Transfer mixture to the baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. After 50 minutes, sprinkle kugel with almond slices and bake for the last 10 minutes to toast almonds.
  7. While kugel is cooling, whisk together Meyer lemon juice and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add a little water if needed to get a consistency that you can drizzle over the kugel but that isn’t too runny. Drizzle glaze right before serving, or refrigerate separately if not planning on serving right away. Kugel can be served warm or at room temperature.