This post comes courtesy of Jennifer Farley, blogger, recipe developer and food photographer at Savory Simple.
This beautiful kugel was passed along to my mother many years ago, and she’s been making it at holiday parties ever since I was a child. We have a variety of kugels in the family, but this is a particular favorite of mine. It’s sweet, but it’s versatile. It can accompany breakfast or a light lunch, and it works well as a side dish with meat, chicken or fish for dinner. And it works great as a dessert!
You make it very much like an upside down cake, flipping it over after it’s done baking and has cooled for a few minutes. You can make the first part (the topping) one or two days beforehand and leave it covered in the refrigerator. You can make the entire kugel ahead of time and freeze it; just defrost the day before you use it. Enjoy!
Sweet Pecan Kugel
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) package whole pecans
For the filling:
1 (16-ounce) bag broad egg noodles
2 ounces (½ stick) melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sugar
To make the topping, melt the butter and pour evenly into the bottom of a 10 1/2-inch Bundt pan. Add the brown sugar to the pan and it spread evenly all around, combining with the butter.
Next you will be placing whole pecans into the butter/brown sugar mixture in a decorative, circular designs — one inner circle, one outer circle. Sort through the bag of pecans and select nuts that look pretty and are similar in size. You’ll need approximately 40 pecans. Keep in mind that you will be turning this upside down at the end, so the top side of the pecan will be pressed down into the sugar mixture.
Start with the inner circle and carefully line up whole pecans one by one, the end of each pecan touching the center pole of the Bundt pan until you’ve created the circle. Next, move to the outer edge of the Bundt pan. End to end, carefully make a circle of pecans around the outer edge of the pan, pressing them slightly into the sugar/butter mixture. Place the Bundt pan in the refrigerator to set and harden for at least an hour.
To make the filling, boil noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t overcook them; they’ll be cooking further in the oven. Drain well and set aside.
Beat the eggs lightly. Add the sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and salt to eggs and combine evenly. Add egg mixture to the egg noodles.
To assemble the kugel, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Take chilled, set Bundt pan out of the refrigerator. If you’ve made the full recipe ahead and the egg/noodle mixture has settled, give it a quick stir. Carefully pour it into the Bundt pan. Spread the noodles evenly.
Place the Bundt pan into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully run a knife along the edges or gently shake kugel to loosen.
Using a pot holder, put a plate under the hot Bundt pan. Holding the Bundt pan firmly against the plate, invert the kugle. Carefully remove Bundt pan. Some of pecans may have dislodged; simply replace them into the circular design. Serve warm or room temperature. Serves 12.
About the author: Jennifer Farley is the owner, recipe developer and food photographer of Savory Simple. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD where she trained in classic French technique. Jennifer currently works as a recreational cooking instructor and social media marketer. She resides in the Washington DC metropolitan area and can often be found exploring the local culinary scene in search of new inspiration.