Crispy Latkes and Pink Applesauce

Oh man, oh man.  April is busy.  I would like to sit down and not move for six hours. I really like sitting.

Feast your eyes on our Passover table! We celebrated late, but had an absolutely wonderful Seder.  I was particularly pleased with how my brisket turned out (braised with rhubarb and honey from the All About Braising cookbook).  I’ll share that recipe with you guys later because it’s feeling more and more summery here, and you’re probably not in the mood to braise five pounds of beef for three-and-a-half hours.

What I do want to share are my favorite latke and applesauce recipes. Do you have a food mill? You need one to make pink applesauce.  And don’t you want to make pink applesauce?  It’s oh so pretty.  (Food mills are also totes awesome for making baby food.  You can food mill anything!) Anyway, the pink applesauce is so lovely and pink because you cook the apples in their skins. Then you put the quartered apples into the food mill and zip it through, and the food mill magically keeps all the skins while spewing out the applesauce. Delicious!

Oh, and latkes! I hope you’ve all had them- they are one of life’s great pleasure.  Light and crispy potato and onion pancakes- what’s not to love?  Here’s a picture of some of the 48 (!) I made for Passover:

The key to a really crispy latke is to squeeze the water out of the grated potato and onions really thoroughly.  Oh! Oh! And when you serve them, you have to have little bowls of sour cream along with the applesauce.  It is impossible to eat latkes without both applesauce and sour cream.  Trust me on this one.

Crispy Latkes
from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
  • 1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  1. In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

Do ahead: Latkes are a do-ahead-er’s dream. You can also keep latkes warm in the oven for an hour or more, if you’re waiting for stragglers to arrive. Cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. Reheat them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.

Pink Applesauce
from Martha Stewart (of course)

  • 1 1/4 pounds red apples (about 4), such as McIntosh or Macoun, unpeeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft, 15 to 30 minutes. Pass apple mixture through a food mill fitted with a medium disk. Applesauce will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

3 thoughts on “Crispy Latkes and Pink Applesauce

  1. 530nm330hz April 8, 2010 / 12:23 am

    I'm intrigued by the brisket. We tried a sweet-and-sour one this year which worked out really well. I guess I'll have to stay tuned for that!

  2. Danielle April 8, 2010 / 2:28 am

    P.S. Gram really thought your table was pretty and she liked your dishes.

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