I am cutting it close, but I had to share a Chanukah recipe before the holiday was over. With eight days of the holiday you would think it easy to fit in making latkes, but this year I felt a little time crunched!
It was a goal to make latkes this week but it was feeling more like a chore than something I really felt like cooking, or even eating. It can be quite a process- the peeling, and grating, then frying… I decided that the best way to make it more exciting would be to add in an aspect of experimentation.
Latkes or latkas (לאַטקע) are traditionally eaten with apple sauce, so I decided there could be something interesting about incorporating the apple sauce flavor into the latkes themselves. Together with the traditional apple spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, grated apple was added to the mix. I used a pink lady apple, but any variety will do. I chopped the onion and grated the potatoes and apple using my food processor which definitely makes the process less labor intensive. Although the thought of making latkes was a bit daunting, once getting started I was swept up in the holiday spirit and enjoyed it, feeling festive and connected to the holiday.
I was a little hesitant to serve my apple latkes to guests, not sure if the deviation from the traditional dish would be appreciated, but I’m happy to report they were a hit! These latkes are perfectly sweet, and just slightly spiced, a lighter pancake than the all-potato ones. They are delicious on their own, and of course you can still enjoy them with an apple sauce topping.
Half-Baked Apple Half-Baked Apple Latkes
3 medium Potatoes, peeled and grated
1 medium Apple, peeled and grated
1/2 large White Onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Potato Starch
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Coconut Oil or Grapeseed Oil for Cooking
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325’F. Wash, peel, and grate the potatoes using a food processor or grater. Transfer to a flour sack or tea towel and squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible, then place in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, grated apple, potato starch, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and mix, making sure to blend ingredients well.
Heat a large griddle with oil to medium heat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and squeeze out any additional liquid. Form into a ball and place into the pan. Press down on the mixture quickly and do the same for as many as will fit into the pan, leaving space for the spatula to reach each latke for turning them over.
Keep on the heat for 2-3 minutes on the griddle, until they brown slightly- this will allow them to flip without falling apart. Once the bottoms are slightly browned, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer latkes off the griddle to the the baking sheet.** Add more oil to the pan before the next set of latkes. Continue baking them in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
*It is best to use a cast iron griddle. These would most likely stick on a stainless steel griddle.
**Don’t try to flip the latkes too early! They will fall apart if not given enough time to cook on the first side.