“So put on your yarmulke, here comes Hanukkah,” and what is more funukkah than eating massive quantities of fried carbohydrates? Although most Jewish people claim that their mothers make the best latkes, they cannot possibly compare to my mom’s. Every single time she makes her famous latkes, people tell her that they were the absolute best latkes they have ever had. This recipe was passed down from my great-great-grandmother Evelyn and is one of the many reasons why Hanukkah is one of my favorite times of the year. These latkes have made their way from my great-great-grandmother’s kitchen to my elementary school’s holiday feasts, to the dormitory kitchens at MIT.
I’m a latke purist and enjoy the simplicity of this recipe; these are latkes in their purest and most delicious form. These potato pancakes are always light, fluffy, and crisped to perfection. They’re so delicious that eating them for eight days out of the year isn’t nearly enough for my family. Top them with sour cream and homemade applesauce for a traditional Hanukkah treat or enjoy these potato patties for breakfast as a delicious hash brown substitute.
- 3.5 cups potatoes (grated)
- 3 large eggs
- 2.5 tablespoons flour
- 1 small yellow onion (grated)
- A few pinches of baking powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Sour Cream (Optional)
- Homemade Applesauce (recipe below)
Yield: about a dozen latkes — which, if you’re a latke fiend like me, equals one serving.
Prep time: 12 minutes
Cook time: 24 minutes
Cost: under $15
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with newspaper and paper towels. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel potatoes and place peeled potatoes in cold water to prevent browning. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grate potatoes and onion with a handheld grater or with a food processor. Lightly squeeze the potatoes to remove some of the moisture, then transfer grated onion and potatoes into a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drop several spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil taking caution not to crowd the skillet (this will make the latkes soggy). Fry 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden around the edges. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Keep the finished latkes warm on the lined cookie sheet in the oven. Blot excess oil with paper towels. Serve hot with sour cream and applesauce.
Not in the mood to peel and grate potatoes? Use shredded hash brown mix sold in the refrigerator section! Although my mother does not approve of this tip, it is a wonderful time saver.
These latkes are so special that they require the highest quality condiments possible. I have such fond memories of picking apples in the yard and helping my mom peel them for the applesauce. This recipe is perfect for Chanukah and can be enjoyed as a healthy snack all year round.
Yield: about 1 quart
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 3-4 pounds of apples (golden delicious, granny smith, or McIntosh work best)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ white sugar (less depending on desired sweetness)
- 1-cup water
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- A few dashes of cinnamon
Wash, peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters. Put all ingredients into a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about twenty minutes. Remove from heat and mash mixture with a potato masher. Serve hot or chill in the fridge. Extra applesauce can be kept in the freezer for several months.