Referred to as “Shiva Kugel” in our family as it is traditionally brought to a house of mourning in the seven days after a funeral, this kugel should not wait for somebody to die to be enjoyed!  Perfect for a fancy brunch.  Delightful at a baby or wedding shower.  I’ve even heard people ask for a scoop of ice cream on top for a truly decadent dessert.

Don’t use low fat anything in this recipe.  Don’t cut the butter.  Leave it alone and enjoy your life!

  • 1 pound medium egg noodles, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 35 pecan halves (for garnish)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound cottage cheese
  • 1 pound sour cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • healthy pinch of Kosher salt

*Ring mold or large Bundt pan

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil – or don’t, but you will be scrubbing later!  Put your ring mold on the baking sheet and pour in about 1/3 of the melted butter.  Use a pastry brush or paper towel to spread the butter over the entire inside surface of the pan.  There should be a few tablespoons of butter pooled at the bottom of the pan; if there is not, pour in a little more.
  2. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Not up the sides – just a nice, thick layer at the bottom.  Build a crown of pecans by placing the pecan halves, curved side into the sugar, one by one, touching each other.  This will be the pretty top when we are all done.  Gently push each pecan half into the sugar to stabilize.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining butter with all of the remaining ingredients except for the noodles.  The mixture should not have any streaks of egg or butter.  Add the noodles to the bowl and gently fold everything together.  Make sure the noodles are well coated with the custard batter.
  4. Carefully pour or ladle the mixture into the ring mold.  Pour in any extra batter.  Pick up the ring mold and bang it on the sheet pan three times to release any air bubbles and help the mixture settle.
  5. Place the kugel, on its baking sheet, onto the middle shelf of the preheated oven.  Bake for 90 minutes, turning half way thru.  The kugel will be firm to the touch and golden brown when it is done.  Remove from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes!  Run a thin bladed paring knife around the inside edges of the ring mold to loosen the kugel.  Place a serving tray on top and carefully flip the entire thing.  Lift the ring mold off of the kugel.  If any pecans are stuck to the mold, pick them off and place back onto the kugel.
  6. Eat a slice!  Perfect with coffee, tea or a little Scotch!

*This kugel can be made ahead.  Reheat in the pan before serving.  It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.  Freeze, well wrapped, in the pan, then defrost in the refrigerator and reheat.