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Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes

Every year, we host a big Hanukkah party for a couple dozen friends, serving four or five different kinds of latkes (potato pancakes) at a time. These sweeter latkes, accented with the oniony bite of shallots, are always the first to go. I like a green, firm-tart apple here. Rhode Island Greening and Granny Smith would both make excellent choices.

And here’s a time-saving bonus: Because sweet potatoes contain less water than regular baking potatoes, you can grate them in the food processor without worrying about their releasing too much liquid.–Amy Traverso

LC No More Last-Minute Latkes Note

Swell news for anyone who doesn’t care to stand at the stove frying latkes while guests get tipsy in the next room: Amy Traverso, the lovely and knowledgeable author of this recipe, explains in The Apple Lover’s Cookbook that you can make batches of latkes in advance and freeze them in anticipation of those times when you need to feed lots of folks faster than you can flip latkes or satisfy a solitary craving on a lazy (or crazy) night. Just rewarm them in a hot oven. No one will know the difference as long as you don’t tell (and we certainly won’t). And during our recent chat with Traverso in our podcast, we dubbed her book The Apple Bible. You’ll understand why when you hear her expound upon apple types.

Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy thermometer

Sweet Potato Apple Latkes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • Makes 25 to 30

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds garnet or jewel yams or sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 large (about 1 1/2 pounds total) firm-tart apples such as Rhode Island Greenings or Granny Smiths, unpeeled, cored, and quartered
  • 8 small to medium shallots, peeled
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Sour cream and applesauce for serving, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C).
  • 2. Using the coarse side of a box grater or a food processor fitted with a medium grating disk, grate the potatoes, apples, and shallots. Toss together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper and toss to mix well.
  • 3. Pour 3/4 inch oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. When the temperature reaches 370°F (188°C), scoop 1/4 cup potato mixture from the bowl and then gently drop the mixture onto a wide spatula. (The point here is to keep your hands as clean as possible.) Press the potato mixture into a patty about 1/4 inch thick, then gently slide the pancake into the hot oil. Cook 3 or 4 pancakes at a time (do not crowd the pan) until the edges are crisp and well browned and the undersides are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently turn and cook until the other side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  • 4. Transfer the pancakes to paper towels to drain briefly, then arrange in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Keep the latkes warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Serve hot with sour cream and applesauce on the side. You can instead cool the latkes to room temperature, then stack them in single layers between sheets of parchment or wax paper, and freeze them in resealable plastic bags. Crisp in a 325°F (163°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
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