Classic Potato Latkes and Benny's Homemade Apple Sauce
Every year, my family and I host an epic latke party. Over 100 people come in to our home in waves, eating latkes, drinking spiked warm cider, dancing, laughing and chatting. I long for the smell of the crispy potato onion pancakes and the feeling of being surrounded by loved ones and though the gathering is not possible at this time, the latkes certainly are! This is our family recipe, I hope you love it as much as I do!
Schatz Family Latkes and Apple Sauce
4-5 Apples, cored and peeled
1/3 Cup water
a pinch of salt
sugar to taste
ground cinnamon - optional
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated Russet potatoes
1/2 cup grated onion
1 or 2 eggs
1/4 cup matzo meal
2 cups vegetable oil, canola, sunflower, safflower, etc.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sour Cream to garnish
Benny's Apple Sauce
Classic Potato Latkes
To Make the Apple Sauce
Core and Peel the apples and roughly chop into ~½-1” pieces
Put the apples and water in a medium saucepot over medium heat.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the apples + water and cover the pot. Add some cinnamon (½ tsp - 1tsp) if you enjoy cinnamon in your sauce. I prefer it without.
After ~5 minutes (or once water is boiling) turn the heat to low/medium.
Let cook for ~25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Check to see if the apples have broken down. They should be easy to smash with a spatula/wooden spoon.
Once the apples are soft, transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher to desired consistency. You can also use an immersion blender for smoother sauce. Food mill is the ideal tool (you don’t have to worry about peeling or coring).
Taste the apple sauce; if it isn’t sweet enough for your taste, add some sugar. If you like it a bit more tart, add a little lemon juice. Allow to cool fully before topping your crispy hot latkes!
To Make the Latkes
Prepare a sheet tray lined with paper towels or newspaper.
Place the grated potatoes and onions in a colander. Use your hands to squeeze out the excess liquid.
Place the strained potatoes and onions in a bowl and make a well in the center, add the egg and matzo meal and whisk it with a fork before incorporating it into the potato and onions with your hands. You should be able to squeeze the latke mix into a pancake that holds together. If it is falling apart, add your second egg and an additional handful of matzo meal. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of freshly cracked pepper.
In a large, deep cast iron or non stick pan over medium high heat, warm 1 inch of vegetable oil until it spits back when you flick water at it.
Form the latkes by squeeze about 3 Tbsp of the batter in your hand to remove any excess liquid and shape into a flat disc, about 1/2" thick. Carefully place the latkes in the frying oil and fry until you can see the edges turning golden brown. You only want to flip it once so be patient! Fry for one minute on the second side and remove the latke with a slotted spatula, place it on the paper towel lined sheet tray to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle sea salt on top of it and top it with your homemade applesauce, sour cream or both! Enjoy!
If you have leftover latke batter, cover it tightly with seran wrap, it will turn brown but it will still fry up nicely the next morning and make a wonderful addition a hearty breakfast!