Lemon Ricotta Noodle Kugel with Dried Cherries (Dairy)

Lemon Ricotta Kugel with Dried Cherries
Lemon Ricotta Kugel with Dried Cherries. © 2013 Miri Rotkovitz
  • 65 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10-12
Ratings (12)

If you've got a noodle kugel in your recipe repertoire, chances are good it was passed down by the Bubbes in the family, and that the basic formula of egg noodles, lots of dairy, eggs, and raisins hasn't changed much over the years. But if you want a fresh take on this much-loved icon of Ashkenazi comfort fare, a few tweaks help transform it into deliciously modern dish your grandmother will still love. Unlike most dairy noodle kugels, which are made with cottage cheese, this one uses lighter textured ricotta -- the same cheese that makes Italian cheesecake so wonderful. If you can find them, Meyer lemons add a lovely, subtle citrus flavor to the custard, but regular lemons work nicely too. And a mix of tart dried cherries and sweet golden raisins not only add delicious hits of flavor, they look pretty too. 

This kugel makes a wonderful addition to a brunch buffet, and is a nice light lunch option alongside a salad. It's also wonderful with coffee or tea, so leftovers (if there are any!) make an ideal breakfast or afternoon treat. 

On the Holiday Menu: With its refreshing lemony notes, this kugel would make a great addition to a Yom Kippur break fast menu featuring bagels and lox. It's also a natural fit for Shavuot menus, when dairy dishes take center stage. As for the secular calendar, it's ideal for a New Year's Day brunch.

What You'll Need

  • 1 12-ounce package wide egg noodles
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 16-ounce container sour cream, (scant 2 cups, preferably full fat)
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese (about 1 3/4 cups, preferably whole milk or part-skim)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • Zest and juice from 2 Meyer or regular lemons (about 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Garnish: cinnamon for sprinkling

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter a 9x13" glass or ceramic baking dish and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain the noodles, return them to the pot or a large bowl, and toss with the melted butter.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, ricotta, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the noodles, then fold in the dried cherries and raisins.

4. Pour the noodle mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the kugel with cinnamon. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is lightly browned. Remove the kugel from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Leftover kugel may be stored, well covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Bring the kugel to room temperature, or, better yet, warm in the oven before serving.