Lokshen Kugel, a dish from the old world
Lokshen Kugel is a traditional Jewish baked noodle pudding. It can be savoury or sweet and served hot or cold.
Kugel is Yiddish for pudding or casserole, and this one is a pudding made of ‘lokshen‘, the flat noodles that are often egg-enriched and perfect for chicken soup. The noodles are transformed (and perfectly so for the festival of Shavuot) by the addition of ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, apple and sultanas. And of course, a little butter! It is baked until the top is golden and crusty, and the inside is soft and irresistible.
This treasured recipe comes from Natanya’s maternal grandmother Sarah, published in our first book Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood in 2011. Sarah passed away just before the book was published, at the ripe old age of 100. The story goes like this: Many, many years ago, Natanya’s other grandmother, Nana Betty, gave Sarah this recipe. She was always amazed at what a wonderful cook Betty was and how well she managed out of a tiny kitchen, without the use of any modern utensils. Sarah made this dish so often, eventually it became hers and not Betty’s.
It makes a wonderful afternoon tea treat, and a delicious dessert…though perhaps after a light meal. It has become one of our favourite cooler-weather indulgences…and if there are any leftovers, they can be refrigerated and cut into squares for a quick anytime-snack.
Natanya made the following video to honour Nana Sarah and to share the recipe with the world.
For more Monday Morning Cooking Club shavuot ideas, see Shavuot: Cheesecake Time and Much Much More.
250 g (8 1/2 oz) wide egg noodles (lokshen)
3 eggs, separated
80 g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
500 g (2 cups) ricotta cheese
160 g (1 cup) sultanas
1 large granny smith apple,peeled and grated
100 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 25 x 20 cm (10” x 8”) baking dish. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a separate large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light. Beat in the ricotta until well combined, then add the sultanas and apple and mix well. Mix in the noodles and melted butter, then gently fold through the egg whites.
Place the mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until the top is golden and a little crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature.