Thursday, October 23, 2008

Potato latkes with a twist

We are absolutely overwhelmed with apples after our weekend expedition. That apple pie I baked barely made a dent. So now I have apples on the brain. And I decided to try something that I've thought of before in a musing sort of way.

I love, love, love latkes. Who doesn't? They are fried potatoes. There is nothing to dislike. I eat my latkes with both applesauce and sour cream. So I started thinking about adding the apples directly into the latkes. This is probably latke heresy, so hopefully I'm not horrifying anyone right now.

I started with a latke recipe from Deb's site, Smitten Kitchen. For my first try, all I did was add a couple of peeled apples to the food processor after I shredded the potatoes and onions. Unfortunately, the apple flavor was so faint as to be undetectable. Next I tried shredding and cooking the apples before adding them to the potato mixture (and adding an additional egg). This gave the latkes a distinct, but not overpowering, apple flavor. I still love plain latkes, but I'm glad to have something a little different to mix it up.


Potato Latkes (with apples!)
Adapted from Food & Wine

4 tart apples, peeled
Dab of butter
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon matzo meal
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the apples. Add a little bit of butter to a small skillet and cook the apples on medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Add cinnamon, if desired. When finished, turn off the heat and set aside.

Next, shred the potato and onion. Transfer to a colander and squeeze dry. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again. Transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cooked apples. Add the flour, matzo meal, egg, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

The apples make the latkes just slightly sweet and a bit tart. D still needed applesauce, so they didn't exactly supply all the apple flavor he needed. I am a fan but I will probably continue to make plain latkes as well.

You should definitely try Deb's latke recipe, even if you leave my apple experiment out of it completely. They are delicious and not nearly as intimidating as I expected.


  1. I love this idea....I have made lots of variations of latkes, but never with apples. Great idea!

  2. We used to make these as children with my Mom and we loved eating them with applesauce.

  3. These look gorgeous--so golden brown! I always have trouble with latkes. They either seem to soak up too much oil or stay raw and cold in the middle...I'll have to give this recipe a try and see if following it to the letter yields a good result.

  4. i loove latkes, but prefer them savory. ;-) your blog is such a bright spot in my day! i adore your crafts, recipes and commentary! xoxo

  5. oh how I miss latkes...I now have an excuse to make them...the reacipe is right here! xxoo

  6. what a great idea! maybe it would cut down on the globs of apple sauce i always have to use.

  7. Rachel OMG you pushed me to the edge! I love potato latkes and with apple sauce I need to try your recipe!!! OR I need to strike the jackpot to hire you to cook for me. I love all of your recipes!! Hmmm... could there be a cookbook in the future?

  8. Latkes, latkes good to eat...ever read that book? Looks delicious!

  9. You are so clever! These seem a little tricky! How did you become so proficient in the kitchen? I'm so envious :)

  10. Wow! How innovative Rachel! Your photos look so delicious -- I love the perfect hint of crunch.

  11. Yum. this is a wonderful recipe I need to try.

    Great Blog!!!

  12. This recipe sounds so good...I love potato latkes with applesauce! I just linked to this recipe from the MyPunchbowl blog where I write about party advice, food, and Hanukkah and Christmas party invitations.

  13. This recipe sounds so good...I love potato latkes with applesauce! I just linked to this recipe from the MyPunchbowl blog where I write about party advice, food, and Hanukkah and Christmas party invitations.


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