From Ireland to Sweden to the far reaches of Eastern Europe, potato pancakes of one sort or another are practically universal in traditional European cuisines. Whether they’re called boxty, latke, placki, rösti or rårakor, potato pancakes are a special dish, proudly brought out for holidays and other festive occasions.
Potatoes, apples and onions are frequent companions in many hearty mid-European dishes and they don’t fail to please in this delightful version of the traditional potato pancake. While apples are not a typical ingredient in most potato pancake recipes, their delicate texture and mild sweetness makes this version a little lighter and tastier than others.
The key to great potato pancake texture is squeezing out as much moisture as possible from the raw grated ingredients. Wrap them in a sturdy dish towel and squeeze hard, then do it again. The drier the potatoes, the crisper the pancakes.
Tiny silver dollar-sized potato-apple pancakes make an elegant appetizer when topped with your favorite delicacies. Try starting with a spoonful of yogurt cheese, crème fraîche or sour cream, then add a generous pile of caviar, a slice of smoked salmon or rich black garlic tapenade. Finish with a sprinkling of sliced green onion or chives and a wafer-thin bit of sweet/tart Meyer lemon.
Perfect for parties, potato-apple pancakes can be made ahead of time, then reheated briefly in a moderate oven until ready to serve. Add the toppings at the last minute, serve and stand back while the compliments roll in.
Bite-sized Potato-Apple Pancake Canapés
- 1 pound red potatoes, peeled & quartered
- 1 medium onion, peeled & quartered
- 1 medium apple (unpeeled), cored & quartered
- 1 large egg
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- Vegetable oil as needed
- caviar of your choice
- smoked salmon
- yogurt cheese, crème fraîche or sour cream
- thinly sliced green onions or finely chopped red onion
- Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
- black garlic tapenade (see recipe here)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place an ungreased baking sheet into the oven.
Line a colander with a sturdy clean kitchen towel and place into a large bowl. Using a food processor with a shredding blade, coarsely grate the potatoes, onion and apple. Transfer the shredded ingredients to the towel-lined colander. Pull the towel tightly around the mixture and twist and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid and place the potato/apple/onion mixture, egg, green onion, oregano, salt and pepper into the bowl, tossing them together to blend well. Sprinkle the flour over the top, mixing again to distribute evenly.
Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy large skillet to cover the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, scoop up heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture and drop them into the skillet, leaving plenty of space between them. Flatten each mound with the bottom of a spatula. Cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes, then turn, frying until cooked through and crisp around the edges. Transfer the cooked pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm. Repeat with remaining pancake mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Arrange the pancakes on a serving plate or tray and top each one with a dollop of yogurt cheese, crème fraîche or sour cream. Garnish with caviar, smoked salmon and black garlic tapenade and other favorite toppings.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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