Potato and Apple Latkes

September 27,2010
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Potato Pancakes or Latkes, are a favorite of our family. To me, they are the epitome of comfort food; yes, potatoes, shredded and seasoned, and lightly sautéed, then served with apple sauce or sour cream, speak to my soul. The crispness of the outer layer, combined with the soft and creamy center, create a sublime eating experience. I had latkes on the mind last week since a good friend of mine mother passed away. My friend was commenting on how her mother could make the most wonderful latkes, and despite not using a recipe, they turned out beautifully each time. For years my friend tried to fine tune her mother’s recipe, prodding her mother for specifics, but each time her mother simply replied, “it’s a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.” My friend bemoaned the fact that she never quite attained her mother’s greatness of latkes. This recipe is in no way an attempt supplant my friend’s mother’s latkes, but instead, a twist on a classic favorite. With the addition of apple in these latkes, there is a subtle sweetness that, in our humble Sweet Pea family opinion, makes them, in R’s words, “taste SO good.” Potato and Apple Latkes 2 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled 1 small yellow onion 1 small Gala apple, unpeeled 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup light sour cream ½ cup (give or take) all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided use In a food processor or with a heavy duty grater, shred the potato, onion and apple. Add the salt and sour cream, tossing well to coat fully. Add ¼ cup flour and the baking powder. Mix well. Add more flour, so the potato hold together a bit, but not so much as to create a “batter.” Add the pepper and stir. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place 4 rounds of the potato mixture, each about 3 inches wide. Gently press the mixture into the pan to flatten slightly. Cook 3 minutes. Flip, cook 3 more minutes. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. (If desired, you can place the latkes in a warm (200 degree) oven to keep warm while cooking the other batches) Repeat until all the latkes are cooked. Makes 12-16 latkes. Serve with applesauce or sour cream, if desired, then prepare to feel good, heart and soul. SPC