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Potatoes & Apples — A Perfect Marriage

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Potato Pancakes & Applesauce
My Mother loves Potato Pancakes and she was willing to stand at the stove while 9 hungry kids ate batch after batch, reserving the right to one pancake for every four she cooked. It is a labor intensive dish for the cook. The pancakes are best eaten as soon as they come out of the frying pan.

My mother who is 93 is also my editor. When she read my original copy above, I had written “My Mother loved…” “Hey”, she said to me, “I still love them and I can still make them”. And she can, yumm!

The recipe is so simple and delicious. The ingredients are potatoes and salt! Served with a little bit of butter that melts into the pancakes and a side of warm applesauce(recipe below), it’s one of the best meals you can eat on a cold winter night.

A starchy potato works best because it produces the least amount of liquid, use Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. It’s also best to use a potato that’s been out of the ground for a while and has had a chance to dry out a bit. You’ll often find eggs in most potato pancake recipes, try these for a change.

Potato PancakesServes 2 — about 20 pancakes
(You can increase recipe as many times as you want)
4 cups grated potato (about 2 good size baking potatoes)
one-half teaspoon kosher salt
Canola oil

Peel potatoes and grate them on a four-sided box grater, use the side with a medium size hole; add salt and stir to combine ingredients. Grated raw potatoes will oxidize if left to sit; use a stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic grater, this will slow oxidation.

Heat a cast iron frying or non-stick pan over medium low heat while you grate the potatoes. Turn heat up to medium high, add 1 tablespoon canola for a 9 inch pan, swirl to coat bottom. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the pan, when the water pops off the surface of the pan you are ready to cook the pancakes.

Stir batter to mix grated potato and the liquid it generates each time you spoon batter into the pan. Drop by one-eighth cup / 2 tablespoons (a large serving spoon) into hot oil and spread with the back of the spoon to 3-4 inches, let cook about 3 minutes, when it’s golden brown and (in cast iron) you can turn the pancake without it sticking. Turn and cook another 3-4 minutes on the second side. In a 9-inch pan you can cook 4 pancakes at a time.

Have a plate warming in a 200 F. oven to keep pancakes warm. (Remember they are
B-E-S-T right out of the pan with a swipe of soft butter, although it is more practical to make a few batches before calling your diners to the table.)

Applesauce — makes about 4 cupsMy favorite applesauce is made from a combination of 50% Macintosh and 50% Cortland apples. (They are my preference for apple pie as well. Macintosh apples melt and Cortland’s keep their integrity and shape, the flavors meld perfectly.) A Mac and Cortland combo offers the essential taste of New England apple sauce or apple pie.

Applesauce
4 Macintosh apples
4 Cortland apples1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
One-half cup maple syrup (or other sweetener)
One-half teaspoon kosher salt

Rinse apples, slice in half or just cut a slit in each apple. Place in a soup pot or any pan that will comfortably hold the apples, add remaining ingredients, turn to medium heat, bring to a simmer, lower heat slightly and cook until apples are soft to the core when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Pass through a food mill. Applesauce will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks in an airtight container and it can be frozen for 2 months. Enjoy!

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