Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Polish traditional latkes are potato hash browns served with applesauce and sour cream during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jewish, Polish, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
For the sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk (or fermented milk)
For the applesauce
  • 5 apples
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • A handful of raisins (optional)
For the latkes
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 large onion , grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons matzo meal (or regular flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
Sour cream
  1. Prepare the sour cream the day before, or ideally 2 days before.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in a double boiler until it reaches the temperature of 180 F.
  3. Allow the cream to cool to room temperature.
  4. Pour into a glass jar (that can close with a lid) and add the tablespoon of buttermilk or fermented milk. Stir.
  5. Cover the jar with a rather thick cloth or towel, so as not to seal and allow gas to escape.
  6. Store at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours.
  7. Then, close the jar tightly with its lid and refrigerate.
  8. Sour cream will keep 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge.
Apple compote
  1. Peel, core and cut the apples into quarters. Place them in a saucepan with the sugar, spices and apple juice.
  2. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Poke the apples to ensure that they are soft and stop cooking. Remove the cloves.
  4. Crush with a fork for a chunky apple sauce or mix in blender for a smooth one. Add raisins (optional). Cool.
  1. Peel, wash and dry the potatoes.
  2. Grate them and press them through a fine sieve or fine cheesecloth to get rid of most of the moisture.
  3. Then add all other ingredients and mix well to obtain a homogeneous consistency.
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Shape shredded potato pancakes and place them gently into the frying oil with a slotted spoon.
  5. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking so they are golden brown.
  6. Place the latkes on paper towel and serve immediately.