Mom’s Passover Apple Kugel

29 Mar

Still Life with Kugel

This is a recipe for an apple kugel that my mother sometimes made for Passover. I remember that she brought this dessert to my pot luck Passover seder in Boulder back in the 1970s. I have no idea where she got the recipe, but  her typed recipe card has been in my recipe box for years (see below). She shared the recipe with my aunt (her sister Edythe), and with me, and now I am sharing it with you.

Passover Appel Kugel

Yield: 12 – 15 servings

Ingredients: 6 eggs, separated; 1 1/3 cups sugar; dash of salt; 4 cups grated (peeled) apples; 2/3 cup matzo meal; 4 tsp grated lemon rind (or lemon juice); 2 T Slivovitz plum brandy; 8 T chopped pecans

Peel and grate the apples.Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg whites until they are stiff; set them aside.  Beat the egg yolks with 1 1/3 cups sugar and a dash of salt until the mixture is thick and lemon colored.   Stir in the apple, matzo meal, lemon rind, and brandy.  Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.  Pour into a greased 10 inch springform pan.  Sprinkle nuts on top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until brown and firm.  Cool before removing sides of pan.

Adaptations

So that’s how my mother made this dessert.  She had diabetes and back in the 70s that meant absolutely no sugar.  So she baked this for everyone but couldn’t eat it herself, although she tasted it.  Today the approach to diabetes is different, and if she were still around, I bet we could make a version that she could enjoy.

Reduced sugar version: Use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda. Use apple juice instead of brandy.  Add fiber (to counter the sugar) by leaving one of the apples unpeeled.

Gluten free: Use gluten-free matzo meal or almond flour instead of matzo meal

Alcohol free: Use apple juice instead of brandy

Nut allergy: leave out the nuts and after the kugel is baked, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

This is a nice dessert year round. You can get Slivovitz kosher for Passover, but you can substitute any kind of wine or brandy and the recipe will work.

My Mom

Here is my mom, Ruth Zagon, as she looked in the 1970s. I created this digital woodcut from a polaroid taken by my dad, Hy Zagon.

Mom1972Woodcut

And here is her recipe card, and the recipe in her own words:

IMG_7758 IMG_7760

Drawing is “Still Life with Kugel” by Randa Dubnick

Image of Ruth Zagon is a digital woodcut by Randa Dubnick from a photo by Hy Zagon

Recipe from Ruth Zagon, with adaptations by Randa Dubnick

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