Leah Koenig is a food writer for magazines (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,Food52, Epicurious,Departures) and the author of 6 cookbooks, including The Jewish Cookbook – a collection of more than 400 Jewish recipes from around the globe, published by Phaidon this month. We asked this Brooklyn, NY-basd mom of two to share one of her favorite recipes for Rosh Hashanah—check out her recipe for kugel, below. For more, go to leahkoenig.com 

Jam & Poppy Seed Kugel

“I love to serve sweet noodle kugels on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), when there is a custom of eating sweet foods as a symbol of our hope for a sweet year to come. This kugel variation, which originates in Hungary, pairs dusky poppy seeds and generous dollops of jam to a sweet noodle kugel, making it equally delicious as a side dish, a dessert, or the centerpiece for brunch.”

Serves 8 to 10

12 oz wide egg noodles
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/3 cup cherry or apricot or jam

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat; add noodles and cook until just short of tender, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the oil, applesauce, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl until fully combined. Grind the poppy seeds in a spice or coffee grinder until just ground but not powdery (about 10 seconds). Add the ground poppy seeds and the cooked noodles to the egg mixture and stir to fully combine. 
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Take a teaspoon of the jam and dot it on top of the kugel, using the spoon to nestle it in the noodles. Repeat the process several more times with the remaining jam, taking care to space the jam out evenly across the kugel. Bake until kugel is set and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing. Just before serving, use a fine mesh sieve to lightly dust kugel with more cinnamon. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

 

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