Plain matzoh has few redeeming characteristics. Whether you spell it matzoh, matzo or matzah, the stuff is dry (it would be better named “edible cardboard”), tasteless (no salt), and hard to digest. On the other hand, you can easily turn it into Matzo Pudding or Kugel. It’s a marvelously easy and addictive casserole that is the Passover equivalent of noodle pudding. So before you decide to eat only a small piece and throw the rest of the box away, try this.
There are two ways to cook matzoh: either break/grind it up (matzoh meal, as in matzoh balls or Passover rolls) or soak it in water to soften the texture and then combine it with eggs. This dish, like my Savory Passover Matzo Muffins, goes the latter route.
The ingredients are simple: matzo; apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, raisins and eggs, with a bit of butter on top.
My Matzo Pudding or Kugel is sweet without being dessert. The basic softened matzoh cooked with egg also works well for a savory pudding. Savory is fine, but first, I have to make a huge batch of this matzo pudding or my kids won’t think it’s Passover.
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Just keep in mind that the casserole in which you make it should be large and low enough to keep the mixture relatively thin, or it won’t cook all the way through. I like the matzohs to keep their shape. If you prefer them to disintegrate and to have a more even consistency, soak them for longer to soften them further and mix them more vigorously to break them up.
We eat this as a side dish at the Passover seder. It would be a great brunch food too, or as a snack. Leftover matzoh pudding is delicious cold or re-heated in a toaster oven.
Matzo Pudding or Kugel
This version of matzo pudding or kugel is always on our Seder table. It is sweet without being dessert-like and goes really well with chicken or brisket.
- 3 sheets matzo, broken into about 1/8 size pieces
- 3/4 cup raisins, soaked in about 1/4 cup warm orange or apple juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grate lemon rind
- 3 eggs
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin half-slices
- 1-2 tablespoons butter or margarine (for dotting on top of casserole)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small (casserole with butter or margarine and set aside.
Warm the juice (I microwave 30 seconds on high) in the small bowl. Add the raisins and set aside. (To add extra color, I often mix yellow and dark raisins.) The raisins soak up some of the juice and get plumper and soft. After that happens, drain the excess juice.
Soak the matzo pieces in the bowl with a few cups of water for a few minutes until just soft, but not disintegrated. Drain well, pressing the matzohs with your hand so most of the water drains out.
Add the sugar and cinnamon, grated lemon peel, and eggs. Mix well, but not too roughly. The matzo may break up more and the resulting mixture has matzoh pieces of varying sizes.
Add the apple pieces and raisins and mix again, gently incorporating the fruit. I haven’t specified the type of apples because I make this with all types, often mixed. Use whatever type you prefer, or follow my lead and use an assortment.
Pour the mixture into the casserole and dot with butter or margarine. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top of the casserole is browned and crisp. (If the top isn't browning, turn the heat up during the last 5 minutes or so to 375 degrees.) Serve hot.
I've found the easiest way to prepare the apples is to peel them, cut them into quarters, then slice each one thinly and cut the slices into thirds.
If you are concerned about them turning brown, sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on the apple pieces.