Ginger Pear Noodle Kugel

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 9-12 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 87 mins

You don't have to be Jewish to love a good noodle pudding—just a fan of sweet, filling comfort food.

Ginger-Pear Noodle Kugel
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Kugels, or noodle puddings, lend themselves to endless variations. In addition to dessert, they're served for breakfast, as sides or as afternoon snacks.

Ingredients

3 cups whole milk
1 thin strip lemon rind
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup fine dried egg noodles
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 to 2 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped crystallized
2 medium ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, soften and cut into small pieces
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crumbled gingersnaps

Instructions

  1. Combine milk, lemon rind and cinnamon in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to a little more than 2 cups, about 25 minutes.
  2. Stir in noodles and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add granulated sugar and stir until it melts. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a deep, 9-inch square baking pan, swirling to cover bottom and sides of pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and ginger. Arrange pears evenly on top.
  5. Combine sour cream, cream cheese and 1/4 teaspoon salt, whisking until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Remove and discard lemon rind and cinnamon stick from noodle mixture. Add noodle mixture to cream cheese mixture. Stir well. Pour over pears.
  6. Combine gingersnap crumbs with 2 tablespoons softened butter and sprinkle over top of kugel. (At this point, kugel can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
  7. Bake about 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (The kugel should be slightly firm). Cool until set. To serve, run a knife along the edges of the pan, invert the pan onto a serving plate and unmold. Or cut and serve from the baking dish. Serve warm or slightly chilled.

Recipe adapted with permission from Jayne Cohen’s Jewish Holiday Cooking (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2008).

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