Alsatian Pear Kugel With Prune Compote (Joan Nathan)

“This sweet & savoury bread pudding has sautéed onions, pears, prunes, and a compote on top and it's absolutely delicious and very easy to make. The recipe is from Joan Nathan's fabulous new cookbook, “Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France”. Note: You can make this kugel using only prunes or plums in place of the pears, and use them in the sauce as well.”
1hr 50mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs ripe bosc pears (4 cups)
  • 2 small onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (about 1/2 pound)
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 loaf white bread (about 7 ounces)
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter or 6 tablespoons parve margarine, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 12 cups pitted prunes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, juice of


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a 9-inch springform pan with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Peel pears and cut all but one of them into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat remaining 3 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Lightly sauté onions until they are translucent. Remove from heat, salt lightly and allow them to cool slightly.
  3. Soak 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 and the butter or parve margarine. Stir in eggs, onions and half of the diced pears, setting aside 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 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.

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