This Passover Sweet Kugel happened by accident, and after sampling it, I would say it wasn’t an accident at all. As I do one month before Passover, I scoured all of my Passover cookbooks and recipes, always on the hunt for something new. This year I was looking for a sweet kugel that I could serve with the meal. I love to go through recipe books that my mom passed down to me, those from Winnipeg, my beloved hometown. This recipe was from the Rosh Pina Synagogue Cookbook. “Tam Gan Eden,” or as it translates to, “A Taste of Paradise.” To be completely honest, there were several sweet kugels, but this one caught my attention because of the Cherry Jam. Jeff loves Cherry Jam and only eats it during Passover… it’s his Passover meme if you will. The recipe for this particular Passover Kugel certainly called for many steps; needless to say, I decided to try it out and see if it freezes well. My mom assured me that there would be no problem freezing a Passover Kugel since it contained eggs and, well, my mom is the freezer queen… in her opinion, there is almost nothing that you cannot freeze.
On the day I made this Passover Sweet Kugel, I was extremely distracted and multi-tasking in my kitchen. Because of the California law to “shelter in place,” I have a full house during the day now. Jeff works from our family room sofa and Serena is home, dancing in our workout studio for up to three hours a day. Our kitchen has become Grand Central Station, with the three of us preparing separate breakfasts and lunches and this requires a lot of clean up and reorganization. As I was cooking this Passover Sweet Kugel, I was fairly organized yet simultaneously distracted, and totally missed the paragraph that stated that the bowl containing the grated apples was supposed to have all ingredients except for the oil… oops… too late, I added it to the wrong bowl along with the cherry jam… double oops.
It was at this point that I decided to dump it all into one bowl, bake it, and pray for a good outcome. And a good outcome it had! I am happy to report that this kugel is not only good, but it is also OUTSTANDING! I will have this on repeat for all time. Jeff is thrilled with it and asked me to make another one because he will want to have this for the entire holiday. Even though I am known in these parts as the “food police” especially in our family, I will give in to this request, since a little (or a lot) of sweetness in these unprecedented and stressful times will definitely go a long way. Whether you decide to serve it as a side dish, dessert, or even breakfast (or all three), you will be the most popular person in your family, for having taken the time to make it, and you will even thank yourself! Here is the revised recipe for Passover Sweet Kugel.
This recipe calls for an 8X8 square pan. If you have a large gathering, make two instead of guesstimating the ingredients to accommodate a larger pan.
- 5 matzos
- 2 grated apples (I used Fuji)
- 4 Granny Smith apples, sliced (as you would for a crisp or pie)
- 1 lemon, rind and juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 jar cherry jam (you could use strawberry)
- 1/4 brown sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon oil for topping
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Boil water. Break matzos into pieces in a bowl and pour the boiling water over.
- Let soak, then transfer to a colander and drain. Transfer to a working bowl and add the grated apples, lemon rind, cinnamon, sugar, oil, and eggs.
- Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the jam, sliced apples, and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8 x 8 square pan and top with the brown sugar/oil mixture. The idea is to moisten the brown sugar to sprinkle on top as a topping. It will melt into the kugel, so use as much or as little as your sweet tooth dictates or desires.
- Bake in oven for 45 minutes.