Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crispy Potato Latkes with Chunky Applesauce

In light of Hannukah (get it?), we made latkes last week!  I'd never made homemade latkes before so I was a bit worried about how they would turn out (egg is usually used as a binder to hold each latke together), but happily ours came out and held together well.  Just remember to pat each one with a paper towel to remove excess oil... 

A trio of piping hot latkes topped with applesauce.

I recommend making the applesauce first so it can cool a bit while you make the latkes. 

Chunky Applesauce
  •  1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 large Fuji apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

First, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the apples, stir, and sauté for two minutes.  Add the cinnamon and cloves; cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Allow the apples to cook for about 15 minutes (until they are tender).  Then, uncover the skillet and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the applesauce has thickened.  Stir in the sugar and cook for two more minutes.  Finally, remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice, and cool.

Crispy Potato Latkes
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsely
  • 1 egg equivalent (we used Ener-G Egg Replacer powder)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed, for frying

First, grate the potatoes and onion using the grating attachment of a food processor (or a regular hand-grater).  Alternate between the onion and potato while grating.  Transfer the grated ingredients to a colander.

One handful at a time, remove the grated ingredients from the colander, squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible, and place the mixture in a large bowl.  Then stir in the parsley, egg equivalent, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat in order to fry the latkes.  To form each latke, use a large slotted spoon to compress potato mixture into a pancake.  Then carefully place the latke into the pan and flatten using the spoon.  Fry the latkes for 4 minutes on each side (use two spoons/spatulas to turn them over to avoid oil splatter), or until very crisp on the outside.  Set the cooked latkes on a paper towel-covered plate while cooking the rest.  

Serve hot with applesauce.  Yields 18 latkes. 


This recipe was a success.  The latkes were crisp on the outside, cooked on the inside, and nicely flavored.  I loved the homemade applesauce on top of the latkes: it adds a nice contrast in texture and temperature to the dish.  I wouldn't change anything about this recipe!
The ingredients in this dish are not difficult to come by.  Just be prepared to go through a lot of oil while frying. 
 Ease of Preparation:      
This is a pretty labor-intensive dish to prepare, though using a food processor to grate the onions and potatoes is certainly a time- and energy-saver.  Be sure to be cautious and delicate when dealing with the latkes in hot oil! 
Non-vegan friendliness:           
Simon, our resident latke expert, says that these taste as good as traditional non-vegan latkes, but they may not have held together quite as well.  Also, just as a note, Simon and Rachel ate some of their latkes with sour cream.

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