Potato Latkes with Homemade Applesauce
I’m starting Hanukkah off right: I’m making classic potato latkes. I am using my mother-in-law’s recipe too, how much more traditional could I get? To add a bit of my own influence to these savory pancakes, I’m making my own version of applesauce; one that is rich with cinnamon to bring a little of my own holiday season into the mix.
- 2 apples (your favorite kind)
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- Zest from one small lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- About 1 ½ pounds – when I grated my potatoes they came out to 2 ½ cups
- 1 onion
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoon flour
- Salt and pepper
- Canola oil or any high heat oil
- Step 1 Applesauce:I like my applesauce to be tart and with a lot of cinnamon, so this is how I prefer to make mine. Of course, you can add less or more of any of the ingredients above depending on your taste preferences. To make the applesauce, I peel and chop the apples into small chunks (the smaller the better). Combine all ingredients in a medium sized pot and set over medium heat. When the apples begin to sizzle, turn the heat down to low/medium low. Cover and cook until the apples are soft enough to mash. This takes between 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your apple pieces. Check on the apples occasionally to make sure they are not too dry, if too much water has evaporated add a bit more 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the apples are soft, mash with a hand masher or a blender for your desired consistency. If possible, make the applesauce the night before or even a few hours ahead of time. It tastes much better when the ingredients have time to meld together.
- Step 2 Latkes:Peel and grate the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Salt the potatoes and let sit for about 15 minutes. The salt will draw out some of the moisture. Then squeeze as much water out as possible. I use my hands, but you could also use a cheesecloth if that is easier. Drain, but leave the white potato starch or a little bit of the water (we want to keep the starch to help the patties stay together).
- Step 3 Grate the onion into the potato mixture. Add the flour and egg and mix well. Add salt and pepper.
- Step 4 Coat the bottom of a sturdy frying pan with canola oil (or any oil that can take high temperatures) and heat over medium high heat. When oil gets hot, it can splatter and burn, so treat the oil with care. Test that oil is getting hot with a drop of water, if it splatters too much remove from heat to let it cool slightly, return to heat.
- Step 5 When the oil is hot, drop a large spoonful of the mixture into the pan, flattening the mixture into a patty. Create as many patties as can fit in your pan with enough room to flip the patties. Cook the patties about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on the outside and cooked through to the center. If you find that the outer edges are cooking too quickly, turn down the heat slightly. Continue this process until the mixture is gone. After every batch or two, toss the oil (do not put the oil down the drain!), and use a new batch of oil. Transfer cooked patties from the pan onto a sheet of paper towel over a cookie rack to let some of the excess oil drain. Serve with applesauce and sour cream and enjoy!