Everybody loves potato latkes. No matter how many different kinds of pancakes I make for Hanukkah each year—zucchini, carrot, sweet-potato and curry, cauliflower, spinach, or zucchini—the simple potato ones, sizzled in oil until they’re crispy, disappear first.
For the pancakes/latkes
- 2pounds russet (baking) or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2tablespoons potato starch (optional)
- 1medium onion
- 4scallions, very tops and bottoms removed, reserve most of the green
- 1large egg, beaten
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the apple sauce
- 2pounds sweet apples like Jonathan, Gala, King of the Pippins, Jonagold, or Fuji, cored, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- ¾cup green grapes, halved
Yield: about 24 small or 12 large potato pancakes and about 2 cups apple sauce
To make the Crispy Traditional Potato Pancakes With Applesauce
- Step 1
Peel the potatoes and keep in ice cold water until ready to use. Using a grater or a food processor, coarsely grate the potatoes, onion, and scallions. Put together in a fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or tea towel and squeeze out all the water over a bowl. The potato starch will settle to the bottom; reserve that after you have carefully poured off the water.
- Step 2
Stir the potato starch into the potato, onion, and scallion mixture or just add the prepared potato starch. Add the egg and sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
- Step 3
Heat a griddle or nonstick or cast-iron pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand for small latkes and 4 for large, and flatten as best you can. Put the potato mixture on the griddle, flatten with a large spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil as necessary, giving time to get the oil hot between batches.
- Step 4
Serve immediately with applesauce and/or sour cream.