Apple & Sweet Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
Every year, senior food editor Amy Traverso’s family hosts a big Hanukkah party for a couple of dozen friends, serving up 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. 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.
Keep the oil at about 370°F while frying to prevent the sweet potato pancakes from turning greasy. Check the heat with a candy thermometer (most quick-read thermometers don’t go high enough) and adjust accordingly.
Make-Ahead Tip: If making ahead, cool the latkes to room temperature, then freeze in zip-top bags. Re-crisp in a 325°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Apple Notes: I like a green, firm-tart apple here. Rhode Island Greening and Granny Smith would both make excellent choices.
See more wonderful apple recipes in Amy’s award-winning The Apple Lover’s Cookbook.
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Hands-On Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 25 to 30 latkes
- 2 pounds Garnet or Jewel sweet potatoes
- 3 large firm-tart apples (about 1½ pounds total; see Apple Notes), unpeeled, cored, and quartered lengthwise
- 8 medium shallots
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying (see Note)
- Sour cream and Classic Applesauce, for garnish
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.
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Pour ¾ inch of oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. When the temperature reaches 370°F, scoop ¼ cup potato mixture from the bowl, then gently drop that mixture out onto a wide spatula (the point here is to keep your hands as clean as possible). Press into a patty about 1/3 inch thick with your hand, then gently slide the pancake into hot oil. Cook three or four pancakes at a time (do not crowd the pan) until the edges are crispy and well browned and the undersides are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently turn and cook until the other sides are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the pancakes to paper towels to drain briefly, then arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Serve sweet potato pancakes hot, with sour cream and applesauce.