These potato latkes with apple date chutney and cinnamon sour cream are all fancied up for the holidays. As is tradition, the Jewish 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 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

Why Our Testers Loved This

Our testers love that this recipe puts a modern spin on classic latkes, while still staying true to the traditional dish. Adrienne L. calls these latkes “fantastic” and loves that they’re “crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.”

What You’ll Need to Make This

  • Apples–We like Granny Smith apples for their crisp texture and tart flavor. You can substitute a different type of apple, but choose one that’s tart.
  • Potatoes–Starchy potatoes are best here, such as Russet or Idaho. Avoid waxy potatoes as they won’t fry or hold together as well as starchy potatoes.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Make the apple chutney. Combine the chutney ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, until the apples are tender then uncover and boil until the liquid reduces to syrup.
  2. Make the cinnamon sour cream. Stir together the sour cream, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  3. Make the latkes. Grate the potatoes and onions. Squeeze out as much water as possible, then combine them with the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper and mix well.
  4. Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Fry 1/4-cup portions of the potato mixture until golden brown, flipping once. Drain the latkes on paper towels.

Recipe FAQs

What are potato latkes?

They are fried patties or fritters made of shredded potatoes, onion, and a binder, such as matzo or flour. They’re traditionally served as part of Jewish celebrations, particularly Hanukkah, and are often topped with applesauce and sour cream.

Can I use a different type of potato for latkes?

We don’t recommend it. Red or white-skinned potatoes (also known as waxy potatoes) don’t contain the starch necessary to make a successful latke without additional ingredients for binding. They also contain more moisture than their starchier counterparts, which in this application, is problematic.

Idaho, Russet, and even sweet potatoes have the highest starch content of all, making them the perfect choice for latkes.

Can you freeze latkes?

Yes. Freeze cooked latkes on a baking sheet, then store them in a resealable bag or airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Reheat from frozen in a 400°F oven until heated through.

Can I make these in advance?

The chutney and cinnamon can both be made 1 day in advance and stored in covered bowls or containers in the fridge. The latkes are best served shortly after frying, but they can be fried a few hours in advance and reheated in a 400°F oven.

Helpful Tips

  • Use a sturdy towel or flour sack for squeezing the potato and onion. A very thin towel may end up ripping.
  • To avoid greasy latkes, make sure your oil is very hot before frying, and drain them well on paper towels before serving.
  • Leftover latkes can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 400°F oven until warmed through.
  • The latkes and apple chutney are suitable for a dairy-free diet.
  • Extra apple-date chutney can be used to top homemade pancakes, or served alongside roasted chicken.

More great latke recipes

☞ If you make this recipe, or anydish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Nine potato latkes with apple-date chutney and cinnamon sour cream on a wooden cutting board.

Potato Latkes with Apple-Date Chutney

4.38 / 8 votes
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.
David Leite
CourseSides
CuisineJewish
Servings15 latkes
Calories151 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

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.

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.

Notes

  1. Make-ahead–The apple-date chutney and cinnamon sour cream can be prepared 1 day before serving. Store in covered bowls or containers in the refrigerator.
  2. Storage–Leftover latkes can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Reheat in a 400°F oven until warmed through.
  3. Dietary–The latkes and apple chutney are suitable for a dairy-free diet.
Modern Jewish Cooking Cookbook

Adapted From

Modern Jewish Cooking

Buy On Amazon

Nutrition

Serving: 1 latkeCalories: 151 kcalCarbohydrates: 31 gProtein: 3 gFat: 2 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 29 mgSodium: 255 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 16 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Leah Koenig. Photo © 2015 Sang An. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This potato latkes 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 that 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?

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.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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14 Comments

  1. I suggest 2 layers of cheesecloth instead of paper towels. You want to squeeze hard to get the excess liquid out. Paper towels will likely burst under the necessary pressure.

  2. 5 stars
    Potato latkes are a very subjective thing – everyone has their own secret ingredient or step to make them come out crispy and yet soft on the inside. This recipe gets it all right. I hand grated the potatoes, used Mayan Sweets white onion – half of one giant one – and followed the recipe exactly and added some onion salt because I love onions in my latkes. I have a giant electric fry pan I used but I’m sure a cast iron skillet would be great too. It’s the first time I have used a recipe and it is just like all the other recipes I have tried on this website – a keeper. I plan on making these and two other latke recipes from this site for my holiday get together – who doesn’t like a party where everything is fried – yum.

    1. Magnificent, Marilyn! Thank you so much for sharing your comments and tricks. Love them. And we love that you love our site. Thank you! And yes, laughing, we couldn’t agree more about who doesn’t love a party where everything is fried?! Looking forward to hearing which recipe on our site you try next…

  3. I’ve got a lot of pears right now…do you think they would be an ok substitute for the apples in the chutney for the latkes?