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Esthers Cherry Noodle Kugel

As I write this post, I’m hanging my head in shame.  You see, dear readers, I’ve been holding out on you.  Not intentionally, mind you, but holding out just the same.  The other day, as I was sifting through recipes to include in my Easter brunch roundup, I re-read my old post on Savory Vegetable Noodle Kugel [1] and realized something.  In that post I told you about a fab recipe for a Cherry Noodle Kugel that I was going to share.  And, I never did.  I swear, I meant to!  It just never happened.  My sin was one of omission, and I intend to rectify it right now!    Since this week also marks the beginning of the Jewish celebration  of Passover, I think it’s the perfect time to do it.    Besides, it gives me an excuse to make this wickedly good kugel again.

Now, before I get thousands of comments informing me that Jews don’t eat wheat products during Passover, let me say that I do know that.  However, Passover is a Jewish holiday and kugel is a Jewish dish, so I’m using one to segue into the other.  Besides, I also know that there are “Passover noodles” made with potato starch, and other gluten-free pasta products available at the supermarket.  Any of them would work in this dish.

I acquired this recipe more years ago than I care to remember from a sweet, Jewish “Bubbe” named Esther.  She and her husband, Jerry, had been old friends of my family for ages.  Since my own grandparents were already gone, I kind of secretly adopted them as surrogates.  Esther was originally from Brooklyn, so she definitely knew a few things about kugel.  Come to think of it, she knew a few things about brisket too.  And, matzoh balls.  But that’s a story for another day. 

Where my vegetable kugel is a savory dish, Esther’s kugel is a sweet one, making it a great choice for dessert.  It also makes for a tasty breakfast and a very satisfying late night nosh.  It’s rich and creamy and fruity.  And, who doesn’t love that?

The recipe for this dish couldn’t be easier.  A simple custard made from eggs, milk, cream cheese, sour cream and sugar is whizzed up in the blender.  Then, it is poured over cooked egg noodles and baked.  A topping of cherry pie filling is added during the last fifteen minutes of baking time.  When everything is browned and bubbly, the kugel is done.  That’s it!

I like to use super fine egg noodles in this kugel, because it gives the dish a smoother, more custardy texture.   Feel free to use the wider ones if that’s what you prefer.  Your kugel won’t be any less scrumptious – and it will be scrumptious.

Whatever you celebrate, make. this. kugel.  You’ll be glad you did.  And, if Esther were here, she would be too.