V For me, Kugel is the Marmite of Jewish cuisine. We love it or hate it, although my adaptation of a traditional kugel always goes down well. I add a pistachio streusel topping to bring a little (much-needed) texture and opt for fine egg noodles as I find they’re easier to source in the usually slim kosher sections in UK supermarkets. I also much prefer the final texture of the bake as opposed to using wider noodles.
Orange blossom extract adds a subtle brightness to the dish, and in these current, turbulent times, adding pistachios and orange blossom to this traditional Ashkenazi Jewish bake somewhat connects us a little more to Israel.
Prep: 20 mins + 15 mins resting time
Cooking: 1 hour
50g plain flour
25g caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
35g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25g shelled pistachios, chopped finely
250g fine egg noodles
3 large eggs
225g soured cream
225g cream cheese
500g single cream
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp orange blossom extract
½ tsp kosher salt, or sea salt flakes
l For the streusel, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Tumble in the cubed butter and work between your fingers until the mixture begins to clump together. Finally, mix in the pistachios and place into the fridge. Preheat oven to 170°C.
l Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the noodles and cook for 4-6 minutes, or as per the pack instructions until the noodles are soft. Drain.
l In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, soured cream and cream cheese until combined. Add the cream, caster sugar, vanilla bean paste, orange blossom extract and salt and whisk until lump free – it should be fairly loose.
l Pour the noodles into a dish approx. 20 x 35cm and at least 5cm deep. Pour the custard over the noodles and mix well. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
l Remove from the oven – the custard should just be set. Remove the foil and scatter the streusel evenly across the entire surface. Bake for a further 30 minutes, uncovered.
l Allow the kugel to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Note: To get ahead, prepare the streusel and the kugel mixture in its dish a day ahead, and refrigerate them separately. When you are ready to bake, add an extra 5 minutes to the first bake, then continue in accordance with the recipe.