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Pecan Kugel Recipe

Pecan Kugel
Makes: 16 servings

Robin Dorfman [of Houston, Texas] is the former director of food services at the Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi. This kugel is adapted from Robin’s recipe, but we made it even richer by stirring in sour cream and cottage cheese. Unmolding the kugel as Ms. Dorfman suggests makes for a show-stopping presentation.

Note: Recipes in Marcie Cohen Ferris’s book Matzoh Ball Gumbo were compiled from a diverse mix of Jewish Southerners who have blended religion and region through home cooking.

INGREDIENTS

For the topping:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole, unbroken pecan halves

For the kugel:

  • 1 pound broad, flat (don’t use curly) egg noodles
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 container (16 ounces) creamed cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set out a 13 × 9 inch glass baking dish.

For the topping:

  1. Place the butter in the baking dish and melt in the oven while it is preheating. Remove from the oven and cool to lukewarm. Crumble the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the dish. With a tablespoon, press the sugar into an even layer. One at a time, arrange the pecan halves in rows, rounded side down, in the sugar. With the flat of your hand press down on the pecans to secure them.

For the kugel:

  1. Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and the noodles and cook according to package directions, until tender. Drain in a colander. Return the noodles to the cooking pot. Add the butter and stir until melted. Cover the noodles so they don’t dry out.
  2. In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, beat the cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Add the noodles and toss with 2 spoons, mixing well.
  3. Pour the noodle mixture into the dish with the topping (which is on the bottom). Smooth with a rubber spatula. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake until the kugel is firm and set, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more, to lightly brown the surface. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. To unmold, loosen the edges of the kugel and place a large rectangular platter, jelly-roll pan, or cutting board on top of the baking dish. Turn dish and platter both over together and lift off the baking dish to reveal the pecan-studded top. With a serrated knife, cut the kugel into small pieces and serve hot or warm.

From MATZOH BALL GUMBO: CULINARY TALES OF THE JEWISH SOUTH by Marcie
Cohen Ferris. Copyright © 2005 by Marcie Cohen Ferris. Used by
permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.