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Potato Pancakes with Applesauce

This image courtesy of Olivia Brent

These potato pancakes are crisp patties of grated potato seasoned with onion and fried to a perfect golden brown. They are best served with a dollop of sour cream and a generous spoonful of homemade applesauce. While potato pancakes are considered a traditional Jewish food, called latkes, they are a recipe fit for breakfast any day, especially when coupled with eggs. These pancakes also make a healthy and satisfying after-school snack for school-aged children. My nieces and nephews love them and are old enough to make the applesauce on their own while I grate, then fry, the potato pancakes.

Serves4

Cooking MethodPan-frying

CostInexpensive

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Hors D'oeuvre, Side Dish, Snack

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

EquipmentBlender

MealBreakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Snack

Taste and TextureCrisp, Fruity, Savory

Type of DishSauces

Ingredients

  • 3 medium apples, cored and chopped into 1-inch dice
  • 1 cup apple cider or water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, grated on largest side of box grater
  • 3 green onions, top 3 inches of green trimmed off, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sparkling water
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. To prepare the applesauce: Add the apple, apple cider, and sugar to a medium saucepan and set it over medium-high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and easily mashed with the back of a fork, 20 to 30 minutes. Pour into a blender and mix until all the apples are mashed and create a smooth puree. For a chunkier sauce with large bits of apples, mash by hand with a masher or the back of a large fork. Put into a small bowl and set aside to cool.

  2. To prepare the potato pancakes: While the applesauce is cooking, grate the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, using the largest side of a box grater. Cover the grated potatoes completely with water and allow them to soak for about 15 minutes. While the potatoes are soaking, add the grated onion, green onions, eggs, flour, and sparking water to another large bowl. Stir to combine, breaking up any clumps of flour. Set aside.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

  4. To strain the potatoes, set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and line it with cheesecloth or a thin linen towel. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes from the water to the strainer, reserving the water. When all of the potatoes are transferred, squeeze out the cheesecloth or towel to remove excess water. Let all of the collected water sit for 10 minutes, so that starch collects in the bottom of the bowl. Then slowly pour the water off the potato starch, reserving the white paste.

  5. Add the potatoes to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Add the potato starch and combine well.

  6. Add 1 inch of vegetable oil to a large sauté pan, and set over medium-high heat. Using a large spoon, drop in 3-inch-wide rounds of batter, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the potato pancakes over and cook the other side until golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a layer of paper towels or a paper bag to drain. Once they've drained, place them on a platter and hold them in the warmed oven. Continue cooking in this fashion until all of the pancakes are done. Season with salt and pepper. Serve a platter of potato pancakes alongside a bowl of applesauce and sour cream, if using.

Suggested Varieties

Cooking apples are best in this recipe, as they retain their apple flavor and easily break down to a smooth puree. Try Winesap, McIntosh, or Braeburn.

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I'm getting hungry just looking at this! I will eat just about any kind of savory pancake!

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