Mandarin Orange Passover Kugel

This year I signed up to the bring a fruit kugel to Passover. Before I saw my family’s shared Google Spreadsheet, I didn’t know there was a “Passover-safe” fruit kugel. There are seemingly endless options for savory kugels but in my search online for ‘fruit kugels for passover’ or ‘sweet kugels for passover’ I only came across a few. And even those had seemingly obscene amounts of sugar. So I did something crazy and old school and I opened my cookbooks. I have four Jewish food cookbooks and two of them had exactly what I was looking for! I adapted this recipe to use mandarin oranges instead of canned apricots due to allergies, but I’d imagine apricots to be equally delicious.mandarin orange kugel

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, a kugel is a noodle pudding. At Passover, because Jews don’t eat pasta or other leavened breads, a Passover-safe kugel is one that uses matzo or other Passover safe ingredients to replace pasta and add heft, body and texture. This basically tastes like a blintz souffle. Don’t know what that is? I’m out of analogies.

Ingredients
Source: Adapted from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

For the topping:
2 T. butter
2 cups matzo farfel (you can make your own by just crushing up matzo crackers)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

For the kugel:
3/4 cup cranberries or raisins
3 cans mandarin oranges, drained. Reserve 1/2 cup of juice from can in small bowl
3 cups matzo farfel
5 eggs
2 cups sour cream
8 T. butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Grease 9×13 pan and preheat oven to 350.

For the topping:

    1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add brown sugar and mix until combined. Add farfel and toss to coat. Pour topping mixture in a medium bowl (otherwise it sticks to the skillet and makes it harder to get out and clean later)

For the kugel:

  1. Combine cranberries or raisins with the reserved mandarin orange juice from the can and set aside.
  2. Place farfel in large bowl, add cold water to cover and let soak for about 2-3 minutes, or until the farfel is soft but not soggy. Drain farfel in a colander, wipe the bowl dry and return farfel to bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine eggs, sour cream, melted butter and sugar in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to farfel. Stir in mandarin oranges (except for 1/2 of one can) and cranberries or raisins, plus half of the soaking liquid.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle farfel topping evenly over the batter. Top with remaining mandarin oranges and a sprinkle of cranberries.
  5. Bake in center rack of the oven for 1-1 1/4 hour or until it’s set. (NOTE:  My oven cooks fast and this was ready for me in 45 minutes. So check doneness based on what you know about your oven and not necessarily the prescribed cooking time.)
  6. Cut and serve warm!

Voila!

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