Apple and Cranberry-Orange Kugel

Ingredients: 

1 12-ounce package wide egg noodles

1 ½ tsp. salt 

7 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided, plus more for oiling pan

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Zest & juice from 1 medium orange, divided 

1/3 cup dried cranberries 

8 oz. block of cream cheese, melted

1 ¾ cups whole milk, warmed

4 oz. large curd whole milk cottage cheese

4 oz. whole milk, honey sweetened Greek yogurt 

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ tsp. cinnamon,

½ tsp. ground cloves

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 medium-large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

4-5 tbsp. granola

Directions:

Place a rack in center position in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9×13-inch glass baking dish; set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in salt and add noodles. Cook noodles for 5-7 minutes, or until just tender. Drain noodles and transfer them to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp. butter and set aside. 

Heat orange juice in a small pan or bowl; add dried cranberries and set aside.

In a medium glass bowl in the microwave, or in a medium saucepan on your stovetop, melt 6 tbsp. butter and all of the cream cheese; stir to combine. 

Stir in warm milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, orange zest, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves and eggs.

Pour this mixture over reserved noodles and stir to combine.

Drain cranberries and stir them into noodle mixture.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the kugel evenly with granola and continue to bake kugel for 30-40 minutes, or until center has set and the top is lightly browned. (If kugel is browning too quickly, place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top.)

Transfer dish to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

Thirty minutes before serving, remove kugel from refrigerator. Place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. (Kugel may also be served cold.) 

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