Cary, NC — Happy New Year! For Jews, September 24, 2014 marks the start of the year 5,775 in the Jewish calendar.
I was not raised as a Jew, but married one over 20 years ago, and during that time have come to appreciate the many family-centered holidays that the Jewish traditions embrace. One of my favorites is Rosh Hashana, which celebrates the start of the Jewish New Year. Many of the foods served on this holiday represent different things related to the harvest. Traditionally apples are sliced and dipped in honey to wish everyone at the table a sweet new year.
Our family has no relatives in here North Carolina, so we traditionally celebrate all Jewish holidays with another “mixed marriage” family in Cary to keep our traditions alive. People eat brisket, and noodle kugel, and maybe some apple-based dishes. I must confess, I had never been a fan of the noodle kugels brought to our extended family celebrations in New Jersey. They always looked too foreign to me, like there should have been cream of mushroom soup, and some tuna in them. So I always passed on the luke warm kugels served up by my husband’s aunts.
But after moving here 15 years ago, I came across this recipe when planning our first Cary Rosh Hashana dinner. I love pralines, and the dish seemed so easy, I decided to give it a try. I brought the dish to my best friends home, and ever after, her husband requests that I make it just for him.
A kugel is a noodle casserole, usually baked in a pan and can be turned out onto a platter. My recipe is for a sweet noodle kugel, that gets baked in a bundt pan like an upside-down cake, topped with pecans and a praline topping. As this is a sweet dish, we serve this last. Can be eaten warm or room temperature.
Try this and you won’t believe you’re eating noodles for dessert!
- 3/4 C (1-1/2 sticks) salted butter, melted and divided.
- 3/4 C packed brown sugar
- 1 C pecans halved
- 1 pound egg noodles
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 C white sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Start a large pot of water boiling.
- Pour half the melted butter into a 12 cup mold, tube pan, or bundt pan, and swirl around the bottom and up the sides.
- Press brown sugar into the bottom, and then press pecans into the sugar.
- Cook the noodles in boiling water according to package directions. Drain.
- In a large bowl, mix the noodles with the eggs, the remaining melted butter, cinnamon, white sugar and salt.
- Spoon noodles into the prepared mold.
- Bake at 350 for 1-1/4 hours or until top is brown.
- Let stand 15 minutes before unmolding. Top will be slightly hard, like apraline.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
- Makes 12 servings.
This dish makes enough for a large gathering, and we frequently have plenty of leftovers. Noodle Kugel warms up nicely in the microwave to have as a sweet lunch treat during the rest of the week following the holiday.
Good Yontiv, y’all!
The Food Column on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Whisk of Cary.