CHEESY APPLE SPICE noodle KUGEL // a jewish fall casserole
Better late than never. That's what they say. And, I guess, sometimes they're wrong.
In this case, they're very right.
The Jewish High Holidays may have come and gone, but there's always room for kugel on your Thanksgiving table, no matter your class or creed. My mission is to make kugel a seasonal dish for the masses, and I declare it "Kugel Season." (And it's kuh-guhl, not koogle). There's really no better way to celebrate the coming of the fall chill, and the dusting off of your post-holiday meal sweatpants. I believe last year I fully explained how nonsensical and genius this "casserole" is, but let's do a recap:
Mac & Cheese
Graham Cracker Crust Cheesecake
Add to that formula the classic fall favorite, spiced apples, and you're going to be the Einstein of your holiday feasting. If you're just jumping on the pumpkin spiced everything bandwagon, you can check out last year's modification: Pumpkin Spice Noodle Kugel. But, pumpkin spice is so 5774.
And, to be honest, I liked this apple spice version better than last year's pumpkin experiment. If you're into apple pies that feature cheese, you're going to be into this. Plus, I thought the apples did a great job of cutting the very rich and sweet cheesy noodle custard filling (whereas the pumpkin enhanced both). Another modification to last year - and to my Aunt Bean's original recipe - was to cut out the center layer of graham cracker crust. I did this completely by accident, immediately thinking "YOM DISASTER 5775 IS GOING TO BE AWFUL THIS IS WORSE THAN THE FACT THAT I'M NOT EVEN TRYING TO FAST" but really preferred the end result. It also cut back just a little on the immediate need for sweatpants after consuming.
May 5775 be the year of happy accidents, and many more kugels. But, truly, if you're new to the kugel concept, or if you're just not from the South or Midwest, don't be turned off by the prospects of making this ten-pound dish of guilty pleasure. Nothing rivals kugel, and you won't know it until you try it. The point is to celebrate the sweetness of life from time to time, especially on holidays with family and friends.
(makes a 3 qt, or 9.25x13.25" glass baking dish)
Graham Cracker Topping:
For the visual learners: