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RETURN TO RECIPES
PEAR-CRANBERRY BUTTERMILK NOODLE KUGEL
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons, cut into pieces
1/3 cup granulated light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup fresh cranberries
8 ounces medium egg noodles
2/3 cup dried cranberries
3 large eggs
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon salt
Put 6 tablespoons of the butter in a 13x9-inch baking pan, and place pan in oven until butter is melted. Swirl butter around to cover sides of pan. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over butter. Arrange pears and cranberries evenly on top. Return pan to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove pan and let cool.
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to rapid boil. Add noodles and cook until just tender. Drain, toss with the 4 tablespoons of butter pieces, and set aside to cool. When cool, arrange noodles over the fruit in pan. Scatter dried cranberries on top, using your fingers to break up any clumps.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and cream cheese until well-blended. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla, cardamom, and a pinch of salt. Add buttermilk and continue beating until ingredients are smooth and thoroughly incorporated.
Pour buttermilk mixture evenly over the prepared ingredients in baking pan. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Remove kugel and let come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Now, prepare streusel topping. In a small bowl, crumble together streusel ingredients with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal, and strew it evenly over kugel. Bake kugel uncovered for about 1 hours, or until it is golden, just pulling away from the edges of the pan, and slightly firm. Let kugel cool until set. To serve, run a knife along the edges of the pan, invert pan onto serving platter, and unmold carefully.
Serve warm (reheat if necessary), room temperature, or slightly chilled (not icy cold).
Yield: 10 -12 servings