Matzo Kugel ~ ElephantEats.com

For those of you who are unaware, next Monday starts the beginning of Passover- the week long Jewish holiday that commemorates the Exodus of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  When Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten. Matzo(flat unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday.

I spoke a little bit about this last year when I shared what is, in my opinion, the most delicious Passover dessert you will ever find, a Chocolate Apricot Torte. An amazing dessert for any day, not just Passover.

Matzo Kugel ~ ElephantEats.com

Anyway you can’t eat anything leavened (or flour or a few other things), but you can substitute flour with matzo meal or matzo flour. It doesn’t have quite the same properties, so you have to be a little creative.

There are three main types of recipes for Passover:

First there are that don’t involve leavening agents at all, like meat/fish/poutry/veggie based dishes.

Second are dishes in which you would usually use such a small amount of flour (like under 1/4 cup) that you can easily substitute matzo meal without affecting the texture/taste, etc.

Finally, a large part of Passover recipes are those that highlight matzo rather than trying to hide it.

Matzo Kugel ~ ElephantEats.com

This recipe I’m about to share is one in which matzo is the star. I’ve shared my Aunt Rita’s Noodle Kugel with you before. Hers is my favorite noodle kugel around, but a more traditional kugel (pudding) involves eggs, dried and fresh fruit, along with noodles and sometimes cottage cheese. This kugel is similar except that it uses matzo in place of the noodles.

When soaked in water and then baked, matzo takes on a chewy consistency that, although not like noodles, is actually pleasant. I had never made this particular recipe, but there are many similar ones, and I’m sure every Jewish family has their favorite. They do make Passover “noodles” but in my opinion you should stay away, as the consistency is vile.

Matzo Kugel ~ ElephantEats.com

I’d definitely make this kugel again. It was very sweet, almost like dessert, so I think to serve it as a side dish I’d cut back on the dried apricots. Other than that, it was delicious!

 *Note that in order to make this dessert pareve (neither meat nor dairy), I used margerine, but you could easily use butter instead.

Apple-Matzo Kugel

Very slightly adapted from Epicurious 

Print this recipe!

makes 12 servings

4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, cored and cut into medium dice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
7 plain matzohs
1 cup warm water
8 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, medium, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice, set aside in a medium bowl.

Break the matzoh into 2- to 3-inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft but not mushy. Set aside.

While the matzoh soaks, beat the eggs with a wire whisk in a large bowl until blended. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins, and apricots.

Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzoh and add the matzoh to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 10×14-inch pan (i think 9×13 will work fine).

Bake the kugel for 60-80 min. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. It will look firm but you may see some liquid- it’s just the melted butter. It will firm up soon after coming out of the oven.

Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Tip:
The kugel can be made 2 days ahead, cooled, and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350°F oven.

22 Comments

  1. What a yummy side for Passover! To get hubby to eat this, I’d have to leave out all the dried fruit…but I sitll think it would be super!!!

    • Thanks, Liz! It’s not quite the same without the dried fruit, but it plumps up so much that he would think it was fresh fruit pieces anyway….promise!

  2. You know I love kugel and I’ve never seen a version with apple in it Amy! (I have to dig out from under my Christian rock! ;-)). I’m totally passing this post on to my girlfriends… they will love! Going to check out your chocolate apricot torte :).

    • Really? Apple is a pretty common ingredient…I think you’ll like this though! The Chocolate Apricot Torte does not need to only be made at Passover. You have to try it if you like chocolate covered apricots :)

  3. This looks delicious, Amy! How well do you think it would ship from where you live to … idk…. Arizona, perhaps? :)

  4. This looks delicious! Thank you for taking the time to explain a little about Passover, too. I had heard of matzo but didn’t realize why it was used. I learn something from you every time I come here!

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad I could teach you something new. I didn’t really go into too much detail…I think I explained more on my last passover recipe.

  5. confession: never had a kugel. i really want one, though, and you know i love testing out your recipes. :) doing it! but i have to get back home, because honestly, cooking in any other kitchen than mine is like trying to cook in a jungle. so i’m saving this one.

    • WHAT?! haha, jk. But you really should try making this. BUT, if you want the best kugel ever (thought not kosher for Passover), you must make my Aunt Rita’s Noodle Kugel. The recipe is on my site. It is the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted and I’ve never met another person who makes noodle kugel that way.

  6. I’ve never had matzo kugel. Want to meet up and have a Kugel exchange?

    • Haha, if you lived in NY i’d totally do it ;) You should def try a matzo kugel. Although I think it’s hard not to prefer the noodle variety.

  7. I am currently tempted to raid your apartment just so that I can try a square of this! I really should stock up on some matzo just so I can make it year round!

    • Hehe, you wouldn’t even have to raid…I’d happily invite you in ;) Matzo kugel isn’t quite as yummy as noodle kugel, but I’ve had a hard time keeping myself from continuing to pick at it every time I open the fridge!

  8. I enjoyed learning a little about Passover – thank you! So interesting that soaked matzo becomes chewy…I kinda perk up when I hear “chewy”…I’ve only had matzo ball soup and plain matzo. I imagine there are so many other great uses for it like this. Since I love chocolate so much, I’m alway thinking about coating matzo with dark chocolate….

    • I should correct that. Soaked matzo becomes soggy…soaked matzo that is then baked becomes chewy :) Chocolate coated matzo is a favorite Passover dessert! There’s this matzo “crack” that’s basically matzo covered in toffee and then chocolate. So so good :)

  9. Apple Matzah Kugel is my favorite Passover breakfast with a cup of coffee. Your recipe looks great. Pinning for next week and beyond. Thanks!

  10. This looks so moist and flavorful! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Such a tasty dish, never heard of it before!

    • Thanks! If you don’t celebrate Passover there’s a good chance you wouldn’t have heard of it…but it’s delicious regardless :)

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