This is a recipe that was a favourite part of my childhood. My grandma taught me to make it the way her mom used to make it, so I think it is of Russian/German origin. My mom made it as well until she moved to a retirement home and no longer baked. When she would come to stay with me, I’d take requests for foods she might not get anymore. Kuga was always at the top of the list, so I’d often make a little one for her to take home as well. The only other place I have seen kuga was on a trip to France, where it was served for dessert in a restaurant in Alsace. My grandma served it for dessert as well, but my mother considered it the epitome of breakfast food (bread, apples, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar) and I have to admit I happily fall into her camp. I make it for my girls as well. One likes it with cinnamon, one without (of course). 🙂
3 eggs, beat well
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp. flour
2 apples, grated
cinnamon, sprinkle on top (optional)
*You can use the dough recipe below, or any other sweet bread dough you like. This one makes extra dough which I used to use to make a second, smaller kuga for my mom. Now that she has passed, I choose to make cinnamon rolls with the excess. I think she would approve. I use 2/3 of the dough for the kuga, and 1/3 for the cinnamon rolls.
1 1/4 cups milk (warmed)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. yeast
Put on dough cycle in bread machine.
Roll our 2/3 of the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, to fit into a buttered 9×13 pan. The butter makes the bottom crust taste like pastry.
Toss the apples in the flour to coat, and them mix with the rest of the ingredients. Pour into dough. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top if you wish. Bake at 350F until set, about 45 minutes.
If you want to make the cinnamon rolls too, just spread a generous layer of butter over the rolled out dough, add a layer of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Roll it up and cut into inch wide slices. Let them sit, covered, 45 minutes to rise and then bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly. These are not gooey, syrupy cinnamon rolls, just a modest amount of sugar and cinnamon in a really good bread. Happily, the rise time is the same amount of time it takes the kuga to bake, so I just pop these in when it comes out. You end up with two lovely things and look very industrious 🙂