I was invited to a really fun Passover seder last night and wanted to bring a traditional Passover dish, so I chose a noodle pudding, called a kugel. Kugels can be sweet or savory, and usually consist of noodles, eggs and sometimes a dairy, like cottage cheese, to which countless other flavorings can be added (raisins, cinnamon, nuts, cherries, and on and on.)
This kugel is dairyless, and not too traditional due to its lack of dairy and addition of caramelized nuts on top.
I have one addition to the original recipe that I find actually makes or breaks the dish:
SERVE WARM RIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN!
If you do this, you will get an oozy, gooey, warm, sticky, sweet concoction quite reminiscent of old-fashioned caramel sticky buns fresh out of the oven!
The salt content may seem excessive but trust me, it balances the two sugars perfectly (think salted caramel candy or chocolate covered pretzel), so be sure to measure it out and also to use the salted butter. (Plus, anything can classify as Flapper Food if it's for a special occasion and, most importantly, if it's prepared with love.;-))
The original recipe suggests serving cold or at room temperature, and, while this is traditional kugel temperature, I happen to think that melty, gooey, finger-licking praline drippy goodness kicks the butt of a cold hunk of noodles any day. Just my opinion, but I’m sticking to it. ;-)
Recipe adapted from Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup pecans, halved
1 pound wide noodles
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1. Melt half the butter in a 12-cup mold or tube pan. Swirl it around the bottom and up the sides.
2. Press the brown sugar into the bottom and press the pecans into the sugar, layering them into a lovely little arrangement.
3. Boil the noodles according to the package directions and then drain. Mix with the eggs, the remaining butter, melted, cinnamon, sugar, and salt and pour into the mold.
4. Bake in a preheated 350*F (175*C) oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the top is brown.
NOTE: Begin checking the kugel at 1 hour! If the top is browning and drying on top, it’s done. Let sit for 15 minutes before unmolding. The top will become slightly hard like a praline.
5. Serve a slice of kugel, all warm and gooey like, if desired, along side a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Savor the contrast of hot and cold sweet snack-heaven in your mouth. Commence sugar high. Smile.
Yields 10 to 12 servings.