December 1, 2010

Apple Latkes: A New Hanukkah Tradition

Just before Thanksgiving, my surrogate family* handed me what I believed was an unsurmountable number of apples before they departed on their vacation. I'm not much of a baker, nor am I completely keen on pie, nor are apples my favorite fruit - but they were so fresh, so beautiful, and handpicked from local New York-area farms, that I couldn't pass up on the offer. I carried the heavy bag of apples home and Austin and I laughed over what we could possibly do with all those apples.



If you follow me on twitter, or tumblr, or know me in real life - you've probably heard me ramble in excitement in the run-up to Hanukkah. Don't ask me why, but I've been unusually excited by the 8-day festival of lights, which has most definitely been hyped up out of pity for Jewish kids who have felt left out over the insanity that is Christmas**. Anyways, in my zealousness, I've been emotionally preparing myself for latkes, and variations there of (my favorites are a mixture of potatoes, carrots, and zucchini), but found myself wholly discouraged by the relentless Noah's Ark style rain that has been beating down New York City for the last 36 hours to actually go out and shop for potatoes. ALAS. What about APPLE latkes? They'd be healthier, damn near exactly the same in texture, and I could finally make use of the several dozen apples sitting on my kitchen counter!

Step 1: Select three medium sized apples. Carefully peel them; it's okay if some of the skin remains.



Step 2: Grate your apples using the coarse side of a grater.



Step 3: Add 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons of flour to the grated apples. Mix! Don't be afraid to use your (clean, recently washed) hands.



Step 4: Add vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat the pan. Keep the pan at low to medium heat. Using a tablespoon, scoop small amounts of the apple mixture and flatten them to 1.5" in diameter. Turn them over several times until they've reached a satisfactory level of golden-brown-ness, (I like my latkes super crispy and almost burnt!) As you take them out of the pans, place the latkes on a paper towel or recycled paper bag to absorb the excess oil.




Step 5: When the latkes are cool to the touch, place them on your favorite serving tray and top with a dollop of sour cream! If that's not your thing, check out this article in the NY Times for some inspiring latke toppings.



I declared myself a genius and then was made aware (thanks, Jesse) that Smitten Kitchen had only just posted a recipe for apple latkes. Of course, this was after I had made mine and pat myself on the back several times. That said, her recipe is probably better, but mine was still an original idea!

Happy Hanukkah!

*My Surrogate family is not technically a "surrogate family," but rather, a family here in NYC I've become very close with that has practically adopted me, and whose home, gratefully, feels like home to me, too.
** Suffice to say, I mean this to the extent that Christmas has been commercialized and de-secularized to the extent that it's celebrated presently.

25 comments:

  1. I don't know if I could do sour cream with apples, but the NYT article suggested Gorgonzola and brandied figs - I bet some sort of cheese would work really well with the apple.

    I've never actually had latkes, but this seems like an interesting variation that might just get me to try them.

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  2. Creme fraiche could also work for you!

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  3. What happened to apple sauce for latkah? Healthier than sour cream and better use for your other dozen of apples. Fresh home made apple sauce? hahaha. Do you want receipe? your Latkahs look yummy. Send some over to LA darling as I haven't made any yet. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. WOW I've never even heard of these, but they look so easy and fantastic. I've got some apples going a little brown at the moment, so I may do these tomorrow as a putting-the-tree-up snacl! :DD Thanks! xxxxxxxx

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  5. I read this blog and literally went into the kitchen to make them, not 5 minutes later. now i'm eating them and they gooooooooood

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  6. What about a little bit of cream cheese if you don't like sour cream? Sweeten in a bit and add some spices.....could be good!!!

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  7. Taryn, that's a great idea!! I guess I'm the only one who likes sweet and savory together ;)

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  8. Sounds delicious and oh so easy! I'm going to try that real soon and impress others with your idea :P

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  9. I love all desserts and recipes made with apples!
    have a look at my blog in the next days as I will share a very-easy-to-make apple pie.

    ciao
    Ylenia
    http://longuette.blogspot.com

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  10. its look like good, some minutes ago a was eat apple- I love it!..mnam!!


    www.juliettefashion.blogspot.com

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  11. Oh my goodness these sound absolutely delicious!! I'm completely impressed! And in regards to Cafe Gitane - we showed up around 11 / 11:30am and didn't have a problem but a line started forming a little bit later.

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  12. I had never heard of latkes before (I'm going to consult my friend google straight after writing this) but they look delicious!

    Also, thanks for sending me over to Thrift Eye. I hadn't seen her blog until you shared the link, and I'm so glad you did! As for the similar outfits, I'm thinking it's a case of great minds thinking alike haha.

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  13. mmmmmmmmmmmm these look so good!

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  14. Ooh yum, these look super tasty! Will need to try that out... :)

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  16. Just posted a review/description of the new cookbook, Modernist Cuisine. Would be interested in hearing from the foodies out there as to whether or not they would consider purchasing a $625.00 cookbook in 5 volumes (475.00 from Amazon). Let us hear from you!
    http://thought2form.blogspot.com/2010/12/modernist-cuisine-art-and-science-of.html
    The Apple Latkes look delicious!

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  17. I have soo many apples right now. Maybe i should make these...

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  18. I really hope all of you who said you would make these went out, grabbed some apples, and took them immediately to the grater!! Hope you all had a fantastic Chanukah!

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  19. Just posted a review/description of the new cookbook, Modernist Cuisine. Would be interested in hearing from the foodies out there as to whether or not they would consider purchasing a $625.00 cookbook in 5 volumes (475.00 from Amazon). Let us hear from you!
    http://thought2form.blogspot.com/2010/12/modernist-cuisine-art-and-science-of.html
    The Apple Latkes look delicious!

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  20. its look like good, some minutes ago a was eat apple- I love it!..mnam!!


    www.juliettefashion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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