Cardamom Pear Noodle Kugel

Jake Cohen OWNED Rosh Hashanah this year. His new cookbook, Jew-ish, was an immediate success and seemingly every Jewish millennial (if my Instagram stories are to be believed) was using it as their guide to holiday cooking. I was no exception. While most of my menu fell back on my family’s personal recipes, I decided to add something new to the mix and turned to Jake for inspiration. I decided to make one of his noodle kugel variations, homing in on the cardamom pear version because it felt very fall and the change of seasons is upon us. (Though that spinach artichoke one looks gooood.)

[Note: the following is the full recipe, which I halved.] First, cook 12 oz egg noodles. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt 4 oz (1 stick) of butter over med-high heat. Stir continuously until you have yourself browned butter (6-8 min). Let it cool slightly before adding it to a blender/food processor, along with 2 c. full-fat cottage cheese, 1 c. full-fat sour cream, 1/4 c. light brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cardamom, and 6 large eggs. Blend until smooth. Add this mixture to a bowl, along with 4 medium chopped Anjou pears and the cooked/drained noodles. Toss to combine. Pour into a 9×13 dish and bake 40-45 min at 375 until it’s golden brown and set.

The result was a very tasty kugel. I could have added a bit more of the cottage cheese mixture (I was concerned it would be gloopy…but I also don’t want it to be dry) and I think the pear variety makes a difference. Had I been able to find anjou pears, like the recipe called for, I think they would have been juicier. Still, the final result was a success. I love the flavor of cardamom in this and browned butter makes almost everything better. While this falls into the sweet kugel camp (vs. savory – yes, there’s a grudge match), it’s not super sweet. That’s why I’ll take pears over raisins any day of the week.