- 6 slices of white bread, cut into 1/2" dice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, margarine, or ren-dered poutry fat, softened
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated or very finely chopped (optional)
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/8" dice
- 1/2 cup fruity white wine, such as Riesling
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs, made in the food processor from about 4 slices of stale white bread
- 1/3 cup coarse semolina or farina
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter or canola oil (to grease the soufflé dish)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: baking sheet, food processor, electric mixer (optional), 7" soufflé dish, charlotte mold, or a similar diameter pot about 3 1/2" deep, parchment paper
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and dry them without allowing them to brown, about 7 minutes. Don't turn off the oven.
2. In a fairly large bowl, beat butter, margarine, or rendered poultry fat by hand or with the help of an electric mixer until it gets foamy. Add sugar and egg yolks, then continue beating until the mixture becomes fluffy and very pale. Mix in cinnamon, salt, and optional lemon zest, then fold in raisins and diced apples.
3 . In another bowl, soak bread cubes for about 2 minutes in a mixture of wine and water, squeeze them out and discard the remaining liquid. Add the moistened bread to the first bowl and mix well.
4. Gently fold bread crumbs and semolina or farina into the bread and apple mixture and let it rest for about 10 minutes for the semolina or farina to absorb some of the moisture. Meanwhile, generously grease the soufflé dish, line its bottom with parchment paper, then flip the paper over so that its top surface is greased, too.
5. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peak, add sugar and continue whipping until they form firm peaks. Stir about 1/2 of the whipped egg whites into the thick and chunky bread mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture.
6. With a rubber spatula, transfer the mixture into the soufflé dish, making sure that there are no voids, and use the spatula to smooth the top surface. Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit inside your soufflé dish and lay it on the mixture in the dish. Place the dish on a baking sheet.
7. Bake it in the preheated oven for 25 minutes; remove parchment paper from the top and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the dish set on a cooling rack; run a knife along the side of the dish to release the kugel, and invert the kugel onto a large plate. Peel off the parchment from its bottom and allow it to cool for another 15 minutes. Place an inverted serving plate over it, and with the help of the plates carefully flip it over to transfer it onto the serving plate, so that its top side faces up.
8. Serve it lukewarm or at room temperature. It is terrific by itself, but you could also serve it with a little raspberry syrup, which would go well with the slightly sweet kugel and provide visual contrast to it.
Approximate time for preparation:
1 hour 30 minutes, plus cooling time