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.
Sweet Potato Apple Latkes
- Quick Glance
- 1 H, 10 M
- 1 H, 10 M
- Makes 25 to 30
Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy thermometer
- 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)
- 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.
Recipe Testers Reviews
These latkes were so delicious that we ate every last one (although I did share one with my dog). The sweet potato is such a nutritious and often overlooked substitution for a russet and it made these latkes sing. This recipe was a perfect combination of sweet and savory. Kudos to Amy Traverso for a perfect recipe!
I love latkes and sweet potatoes, so this was a no-brainer for me. It was so easy to shred all of the ingredients together in the food processor. The outsides of the latkes were crisp, while the insides remained creamy and sweet. Definitely a keeper recipe!
This recipe was so easy—throw everything into the food processor, mix in a few other ingredients, form the latkes, and fry. The balance of sweet with tart rounded out by shallots was great, made even better by sour cream and applesauce (I used cinnamon applesauce for a little extra spice.) The only thing to watch out for is grating the shallots in the food processor. It left some large chunks which I had to pull out and chop up. I will definitely make this again.
I liked the taste combination of sweet potatoes and apples. The recipe does work as written, however, I think it was unnecessary to place the mixture on a spatula, make a patty, and then slide it into the oil. I did this once because the recipe requested it. For the remaining mixture, I gently dropped 1/4 cup of the mixture into the oil and flattened it a little for a few latkes, then for the last ones I just dropped the batter in without flattening it since we like our latkes a little thicker. The results were delicious.