Boil the noodles in salted water for just 5 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water. Set the noodles aside. In a pan on the stove melt the butter; add in the corded and diced apples with a pinch of salt. Allow apples to cook until starting to get soft then add the fresh cranberries and brown sugar. Keep cooking the apple mixture stirring occasionally until a few of the cranberries pop. Remove the apple mixture from the heat and stir it into the noodles. Don’t let the cranberries over cook, or you will get pink kugel.
With a hand mixer whip together the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs until pretty well combined, it’s fine if it’s a little lumpy. Mix in the lemon zest, vanilla and the other dry spices. Then add in the noodles and stir, pour the noddle and custard mixture into a greased baking dish.
Lightly dust the top of the kugel with some white sugar and cinnamon to make it pretty. Put the dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-50 minutes, cooking time will vary depending on how deep your dish is. Kugel is cooked when the top has started to brown and the custard if firm.
Note If you want a more desert like kugel add an extra ½ cup of white sugar to the custard mix. Looking for more holiday planning tips for Thanksgiving take a look at this blog post.