Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Apple Pear Noodle Kugel
The first time I ever had a kugel was at a funeral. The whole affair was a whirlwind that I don't remember much of anything except taking pictures of paintings in order to avoid listening to Eric and his brothers argue. This was also, I should mention, the first time I met most of Eric's family. This made me eat a lot, nervously grazing through the deli and cookies that must have been there, even though I have only vague memories of what was on the table, except for tongue. It was a revelation to me that people actually ate tongue, and, apparently enjoyed it. I tasted the tongue. I wasn't impressed, even if it was one of Grandma Jan's favorites. Maybe you had to grow up with it.
What did impress me was the kugel. I'd never heard of such a thing. Pasta with cottage cheese and cinnamon? Was it a dessert or a side dish? All I knew was that I wanted more. I kept wandering back to the kitchen for another bite, partly because it was such good, hearty comfort food that it made everything better, at least while I was eating.
Months later, Hillary sent me a recipe for her noodle kugel, which had so much cheese and eggs in it that my arteries hardened while I read the ingredients. I chickened out and put the recipe in my "to cook" folder on my computer, where it remained for several years.
Then I found out that there was such a thing as an apple kugel. This could be made, with only a few alterations, into something relatively healthy. Not exactly good for you, but not as bad for you as the one with all the cheese. It also makes a good breakfast meal.
I tried this recipe with a couple of different kinds of gluten-free noodles, and they all taste good, thick or thin. If you're going for a wide-noodle look, then Amazon sells a couple of different kinds of GF "egg" noodles, some of which are even kosher. The original recipe is from Whole Living Daily.
Warning: Eric really, really likes cinnamon. Adjust the amount of cinnamon according to your own preferences.
GF DF Apple Pear Noodle Kugel
10 oz. package of GF wide noodles (I used Seitenbacher Gluten-Free Golden Ribbon Gourmet Pasta)
4 tbsp buttery spread
2 pears, grated
2 apples, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup golden raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp golden flax seed meal
4 tsp hot water
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
more cinnamon and butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the lemon juice with the grated pears and apples so that they don't brown while waiting. Cook the noodles.
While waiting for the noodles to cook, grease a regular-sized pie pan or 11x7 baking dish with 1 tbsp of the buttery spread. Next, make a flax seed slurry by combining the flax seed meal with the very hot water. Let this sit for at least five minutes or until it thickens.
Drain the noodles in a colander, then mix in the rest of the buttery spread.
Stir the agave, raisins, vanilla and cinnamon into the pear-apple mixture. Add the flax seed slurry, then the coconut milk and stir to combine. Be gentle, as the noodles break easily. Transfer to the pan.
Combine the maple syrup with a half teaspoon or so of the maple syrup and spread the mixture over the top of the kugel. Dot with butter.
Bake for one hour or until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling. Cool for another hour to set.