Czech Apple-Noodle Kugel
Serves 8-10. Recipe is from “The Foods of Israel Today” by Joan Nathan. The recipe is from Holocaust survivor Hana Lustigova Greenfield, who was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Greenfield, who moved to Tel Aviv after World War II, told Nathan how she had returned after her liberation to her hometown of Kolin, outside Prague, in hopes in finding family members. She found her sister and her rabbi, who had lost everyone in his family. “The rabbi was trying to resurrect the synagogue and to prepare it for Rosh Hashana,” Greenfield told Nathan. Before the service, the rabbi told the two sisters to cut up an apple and dip it in honey. “As bitter as was our past life, we should have a sweet future,” he told them.
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup orange or apricot liqueur
8 ozs. egg noodles
1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
2 lbs. Granny Smith or other flavorful apples (about 6), cored, peeled and grated
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
3/4 cup apricot jam
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1. Put the raisins in a small bowl with the orange or apricot liqueur. Let sit for about 30 minutes while you prepare the kugel, until the raisins are plumped.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch-by-12-inch baking pan.
3. Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain.
4. Meanwhile, heat the butter or margarine in a frying pan. Add the apples, brown sugar and jam. Sauté until the apples are soft. Remove from the pan, reserving a few tablespoons of the liquid.
5. Place the noodles in a large bowl with the apples, walnuts, salt, raisins and any liqueur not absorbed. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well. Mix with the noodles, then pour into the prepared pan. Brush the top with the reserved liquid from the apples.
6. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden.