Many of my Polish grandmother’s recipes date from the time she was sent to Germany to live with an aunt and uncle after her parents died.
The German relatives forced her into a servitude out of the Brothers Grimm. Because of the extraordinary physical demands put on her body, Grandma Rebecca did not reach puberty until she arrived in America in 1911 at age 17, her passage paid for by older sister Anna.
But in Germany, she did learn to cook, and there developed an abiding passion for sweet-and-sour foods, often using gingersnaps as flavoring for dishes like carp, stuffed cabbage, and simple fruit desserts.
In this variation of one of her kugels, I combine tangy crystallized ginger with caramelized pears to mirror the sweet-and-sour gingersnap topping.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt the
In a large bowl, beat together the sour cream, cream cheese, and
Bake the kugel for about 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (The kugel should be slightly firm.) Let cool until set. To serve, run a knife along the edges of the pan, invert the pan onto a serving plate, and unmold. Or cut and serve the kugel from the baking dish.
Best eaten warm (reheat if necessary) or slightly chilled (not icy cold).
© 2008 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.