Here’s how to make the crispiest, freshest latkes (with fresh applesauce!) for your Hanukkah menu. From Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Home.
Makes 8 servings
6 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, about 2 1/2–3 lb. total weight, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, quartered
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
Salt and ground pepper
Corn oil for deep-frying
Applesauce (recipe below) for serving, optional
Have ready a large bowl filled with ice water. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a grater-shredder or in batches in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Transfer to the ice water. Refrigerate for 2–3 hours, changing the water twice. Grate the onions in the same manner and set aside.
Drain the potatoes in a sieve, pressing out as much water as possible. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and onions and mix well. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until blended. In another small bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. Stir the eggs and the flour mixture into the potatoes along with 1tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.
Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 inch into a large, deep frying pan and place over high heat. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle on contact, spoon mounds of batter about 2 1/2 inches in diameter into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Flatten the tops slightly with a spatula and fry until the undersides are golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Gently turn the cakes and cook the second sides until brown, another 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted metal spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm until all the cakes are ready. Arrange on a warmed platter and serve right away. Pass the applesauce, if using, at the table.
MAKES 8 SERVINGS
8–10 large apples, 2–3 lb total weight, quartered and cored
1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz.) apple cider or water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4–1 cup (6–8 oz.) sugar
Fresh lemon juice
Peel the apples. (If you are using a food mill to purée the apples, you can leave the peels on.) In a deep saucepan over low heat, combine the apples and cider. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the apples are very tender, 20–30 minutes.
Drain the apples, reserving the liquid. Pass the apples through a food mill placed over a bowl. Mix in the cinnamon, the 3/4 cup (6 oz.) sugar, a small amount of lemon juice, and 1/3–1/2 cup (3–4 fl. oz.) of the cooking liquid, or as needed to achieve a good consistency. (Alternatively, in a food processor, combine the apples and the remaining ingredients, using the smaller amounts to start, and process to a good consistency.) Taste and add more sugar and lemon juice as needed.
Serve right away at room temperature.