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All-Dairy Noodle Kugel, for a crowd

Cheryl Sternman RuleComment
All-Dairy Noodle Kugel for a Crowd

Lokshen kugel, Yiddish for noodle pudding, has been a staple of my Jewish holiday life since my step-grandmother Arline first served it to me when I was 14. I’ve made the sweet dairy casserole umpteen times since, exposing as many people as possible to the wonders of this comforting side. Even with my swap of Greek yogurt for the traditional sour cream, it’s still something of a caloric bomb, so I serve it only once or twice a year when I’m expecting a large crowd. Some people say it reminds them of their youth; others admit they’ve never had anything like it. Regardless, it’s always the hit of the gathering. (And you can certainly halve the recipe for smaller groups.)

Notes: I bake this up in a 4-quart rectangular baking pan measuring 10 x 13 inches. If you’d rather bake two smaller kugels, reduce the bake time accordingly. You can also save time by boiling the noodles up to 24 hours in advance. Rinse them under cool water to  loosen any clumps, then drain and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

Makes 20 to 24 servings

Soft butter, for greasing the baking dish
8 eggs, separated
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Kosher salt
24 ounces extra-wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions, then rinsed under cool water
4 cups small-curd 4% fat (whole milk) cottage cheese
2 cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Large pinch cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Rub a 4-quart baking dish with soft butter. 

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, melted butter, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in the noodles. In a medium bowl, whisk the cottage cheese, yogurt, and sugar. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using hand-beaters), beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff. Fold the dairy mixture into the noodles first to combine thoroughly, then gently fold in the egg whites. Scrape into the baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for about 50 minutes, until set but not dry. Remove the foil and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes longer, until very lightly browned. Cool slightly. Serve warm, with a large serving spoon for scooping. |

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Recipe, Words + Photograph © Cheryl Sternman Rule