I speak of the Apricot Kugel, a confection concocted of egg noodles, butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, apricots, and 11 secret herbs and spices. It’s more than just breakfast... it’s a monster Calorie-Bomb of overwhelming deliciousness, a single portion of which provides 1247% of your minimum daily requirement of Fat-Ass-But-Yummy.
A kugel is nothing more and nothing less than a pudding - specifically, in this instance, a noodle pudding (lokshen kugel, in Yiddish). But this one is so deadly, so massive, so delightfully dense, that it has its own gravitational field. Yow!
When I wrote about SWMBO’s apricot kugel back in the fall of 2008, I speculated on the advisability of tinkering with the recipe in a sort of Alternative Universe sort of way...
“Perverse as I am, I can’t help but imagine a Bizarro World version of this delicious dish, a version made with prune jam (AKA lekvar) and pitted prunes in lieu of the apricot preserves and dried apricots. SWMBO is both horrified and repulsed by this idea...but what do you think? Does a Prune Kugel sound appetizing? Or would it make you run for the hills? Or toilet?”Well, today I had to crank out a couple of kugels, and that presented me with the opportunity I had been waiting for.
Here’s the Apricot Kugel, fresh out of the oven...
...and here’s its Evil Twin. Presenting, for possibly the first time ever, the Prune Kugel!
OK, I will admit, part of the reason I did this was for the laughs - for the sheer audacious weirdness of it. Face it: Prunes are kinda funny, which is why the dried fruit boys are trying so desperately to rebrand prunes as “dried plums.” Well, you’re not fooling anybody. A dried plum is still a fucking prune.
Nevertheless, prunes do get a bad rap, most of it undeserved. Possibly it’s their grim blackish-purple coloration (“Mmmm, bruisefruit!”), possibly it’s their legendary laxative effect. As to this latter issue, it has been blown out (you should excuse the expression) of all proportion. I will tell you that unless you’re a serious prunehound, you’re taking a bigger risk of crapping your pants by chewing more than one stick of xylitol-sweetened gum or having a handful of sugar-free chocolate-coated cherries.
Think about it, though. Prunes are indeed dried plums, and plums - like apricots - are stone fruit, both of which (incidentally) play well together in other Jewish dishes such as tzimmes. They are nothing less than the dusky cousins to the apricot, peach, and nectarine... and so why not give them their well-deserved place in the sun? Or at least as a kugel ingredient.
I’m looking forward to that first bite - almost as much as I’m looking forward to seeing SWMBO’s horrified face when she sets eyes on the damned thing.