Jerusalem Sweet Kugel

Every Ashkenazi (of Eastern European origin) synagogue or caterer in Israel serves Jerusalem kugel. This dark, rich, savory, and sweet dish typifies the Sabbath or festive table in Jerusalem and throughout the Ashkenazi world. On Saturday mornings during our sabbatical in Jerusalem, we all looked forward (as we stood slightly chilled in the under-heated synagogue) to a warm, sweet slice of Jerusalem kugel, passed around after the morning services. It's worth experimenting with the amount of pepper and mace to please your palette. We like it on the peppery side. My recipe is based on one from Rina Valero, Delights of Jerusalem, Nahar Publishing House, 1985, p. 84.


Yield: 15 servings

Cook and drain noodles, after a boiling time of about a minute less than the package directions. Do not rinse the noodles, but keep them warm as you prepare the caramel. Put the sugar and oil for the caramel in small skillet. Cook the caramel over a high flame until the sugar turns dark brown. Be sure to watch the caramel as the sugar melts. It is easy to burn this or to make a horrible mess of your stove. Just let it cook until the sugar is nearly dark brown, turn off the flame, and let the residual heat in the pan complete the cooking. Immediately pour the caramel over the hot noodles, and stir.

Combine the eggs, sugar, and spices in a small bowl. Add to the caramel coated noodles. Toss well. Transfer to a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole (covered). Bake 1 1/2 hours at 325°F.

Serve at home as a side dish to accompany beef, veal, or chicken. This is a sturdy dish and can be eaten hot, warm, or cold. Leftovers are good in lunch boxes during the week.

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