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Alsatian Pear Kugel with Prunes


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Alsatian Pear Kugel with Prunes


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Alsatian Pear Kugel with Prunes

Bosc pears and Italian blue plums (dried for use in winter) are fruits that were most often put into kugel. This very old Alsatian Sabbath kugel uses leftover bread that is soaked in water, squeezed to remove any excess moisture, and then mixed with the dried or fresh fruit and left to stew in the oven overnight. Some, like this version, include onions, which add a savory dimension to the sweetness of the fruit and the dough. I love this dish, which I serve in my home for Rosh Hashanah and the Sabbath as a side dish with brisket.


  • Prep Time : 30 min
  • Cook Time : 1 hour, 30 min
  • Ready Time : 2 hour


6 to 8


  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds (4 cups) ripe Bosc pears
  • 2 small onions (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 loaf white bread (about 7 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 11/2 cups pitted prunes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 lemon


1 Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a 9-inch springform pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Peel the pears and cut all but one of them into 1-inch cubes.

2 Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Lightly sauté the onions until they are translucent. Remove from the heat, salt lightly, and allow them to cool slightly.

3 Soak the bread for a few seconds in lukewarm water, and squeeze dry. Put in large bowl and, using wooden spoon or spatula, mix with 1/4 cup of the sugar, add the margarine. Stir in the eggs, the onions and half of the diced pears, setting aside the remaining pears for the sauce.

4 Pour batter into the springform pan, and bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.

5 While the kugel is cooking, make the sauce. In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, put 1 cup water, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the prunes, cinnamon, lemon juice and the remaining diced pears. Cook this compote mixture uncovered for 30 minutes.

6 Finely grate the reserved whole pear and stir it into the cooked compote.

7 When the kugel is done, remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Unmold from the pan onto a serving platter, and spoon half of the compote over it. Serve the remaining compote on the side.

Source: Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France


About Joan Nathan


Joan Nathan is the author of ten cookbooks including the recently published "Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France" (Knopf, November 2010).  She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine and Tablet Magazine, among other publications.




3 Responses to Alsatian Pear Kugel with Prunes

  1. avatar says: Sandy

    Hi Joan,
    This sounds delicious. Would I be able to incorporate the fruit compote into the Kugel before baking instead of after?
    Thank you.

  2. avatar says: kathleen

    how would it be without the sugar>

  3. new ideas are grea t

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