Happy Hanukkah! Tonight is the first night of the Festival of Lights, when making latkes are a favorite family tradition for many. In this recipe, apples are gently sautéed in nutty-tasting browned butter to put a sophisticated twist on the applesauce that is traditionally served on latkes. Latkes are best when they are piping hot, so serve them as soon as possible after frying them.
Latkes with Brown Butter Apples
For the apples:
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 large, firm apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
- Kosher salt
For the latkes:
- 2 lb. (1 kg) russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Snipped fresh chives (optional)
1. In a small fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter is lightly browned and smells nutty, about 4 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the butter.) Add the apple to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
3. To make the latkes, using the fine grating attachment of a food processor, grate the potatoes and the onion. (Alternatively, use a box grater to grate the potatoes and onion into a large bowl.) Transfer the mixture to a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove the excess liquid.
4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the grated potatoes and onion and the flour and toss to thoroughly combine.
5. In a large fry pan over medium heat, pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch (12 mm). Heat the oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, drop the batter into the oil, using 1 heaping Tbs. per latke. Press down on the latkes with the back of a spatula and cook until crisp and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while cooking the remaining latkes.
6. To serve, arrange the latkes on a serving platter. Top each latke with a small spoonful of the apples, dividing them evenly. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and chives, if desired, and serve immediately. Makes about 3 dozen latkes; serves 12.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen