These potato latkes are, per tradition, blissfully crisp outside, tender inside. And the wonderfulness doesn’t stop there. A dollop of sweet apple-date chutney takes the place of the usual applesauce and the requisite plain sour cream takes on a holiday lilt thanks to a pinch of ground cinnamon.
These potato latkes with apple date chutney and cinnamon sour cream are all fancied up for the holidays. As is tradition, the potato pancakes boast all the perfectly-crisp-on-the-outside-tender-on-the-inside goodness of usual latkes. But we’ve swapped a sweet apple date chutney for the usual applesauce and and slyly stirred some cinnamon into the requisite sour cream. So impressive they may just come to earn a special place on your table year round.–Angie Zoobkoff
Potato Latkes with Apple-Date Chutney and Cinnamon Sour Cream
For the apple date chutney
- 1 pound crisp, tart apples, such as Granny Smith cored, and cut into 1/2-inch (12 mm) chunks
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pitted dates
- 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- One (2-inch) piece fresh ginger root peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Zest of 1 lemon finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
For the cinnamon sour cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
For the potato latkes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes scrubbed and unpeeled (about 2 large potatoes)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
Make the apple date chutney
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the apples, dates, onion, ginger, red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey, lemon zest, and allspice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, crank the heat back up to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid reduces to a syrup, 4 to 5 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when the liquid has a consistency similar to maple syrup. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. (You can cover and refrigerate the chutney for up to 1 day. Let it come to room temperature before plopping atop the potato latkes.)
Make the cinnamon sour cream
- Meanwhile, stir together the sour cream, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a small bowl. (You can cover and refrigerate the cinnamon sour cream for up to 1 day.)
Make the potato latkes
- Grate the potatoes and onion on the large holes of a box grater or, alternatively, cut the potatoes and onions into quarters and shred them in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Working in batches, wrap the grated potatoes and onion in a dish towel or several layers of paper towels or cheesecloth and squeeze as much water as you can out of them. You really need to get your squeeze on here to prevent the latkes from being soggy.
- Dump the potatoes and onion into a large bowl, add the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper, and mix with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Heat 1/4 inch (6 mm) vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels. Drop the batter by the 1/4-cupful into the skillet and gently press with a spatula to flatten, working in batches of just 3 or 4 latkes so as not to crowd the skillet. Fry until the bottoms are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip each latke and continue to cook until the other side is golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more. Continue frying the remaining latkes, adding additional oil to the pan if necessary and adjusting the heat if the latkes are browning too quickly or not quickly enough. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potato latkes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
- Serve the potato latkes immediately with a plop of apple date chutney and a dollop of cinnamon sour cream. (Alternately, you can let the potato latkes cool and store in the refrigerator or freezer. When ready to serve, arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and reheat in a 400°F (200°C) oven until warmed through.) You’ll have some chutney leftover and that’s a really good thing. Use it on pancakes, roast chicken or pork or game, sandwiches, mixed into cream cheese and slathered on bagels, or however you please.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe reinvents your traditional latkes. As the author says, he stays true to the traditional latke itself, which is still amazing, and adds a nice upgrade on the toppings. The clove and cinnamon give the dish that holiday essence and the apple date chutney gives the latkes a depth and complexity that aren’t expected with this traditional food. I made the condiments in advance which helped the process not seem as long. I used 2 Granny Smith apples. After 30 minutes they were nice and soft while still holding their shape and not breaking down. It only took 4 minutes for me to be able to reduce the chutney to a thick consistency. At the point the liquid that was left over was about as thick as real maple syrup. I could also tell it was done because the liquid was starting to make the bigger “sugar bubbles” that don’t quite pop but get bigger and smaller (if that makes sense!). I reheated the leftover latkes in the oven and, to my surprise, they crisped up nicely. When I took them out of the skillet, I could see some oil on them so I patted them with a paper towel to remove a little more of the grease. I can’t wait to use this chutney on some other things! Pancakes anyone?
This is actually a 3-part recipe. The apple-date chutney is a bit of work with all the chopping but is fantastic. I used Granny Smith apples and it is completely worth the effort. The potato latkes are fantastic. They were very crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The flavor is good. I would definitely make this recipe again. The cinnamon sour cream is good but could be skipped—or you could just use plain sour cream. I think this could serve up to 6 people, depending on what else is being served. There was a lot of leftover chutney and this is a good thing because you could use the leftover chutney on chicken or in other dishes. The recipe took about an hour, start to finish. While the chutney cooked, I put together the sour cream and cooked the latkes. We ate these right after they were done. They were great.
Originally published December 07, 2016