Recipe: Apple latkes
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Total time: 45 minutes, plus 2 hours for soaking time

They look more like apple fritters than typical latkes, but apple latkes are a Hanukkah specialty. This recipe comes from Claudia Roden's "The Book of Jewish Food" (Knopf, 1996). Beer or milk may be substituted for the water in the batter, and cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar may be used for garnish instead of superfine sugar.

4 apples

2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons brandy, dark rum or fruit liqueur

2 eggs, separated

Oil, preferably light

Pinch salt

1 cup flour

7/8 cup water

Superfine or powdered sugar

Core and peel apples, then quarter each. Put sugar and brandy in shallow dish and add apple slices, turning to coat well. Let sit 2 hours, turning occasionally so apples absorb brandy evenly.

Beat egg yolks with 2 tablespoons oil and salt. Stir in flour and mix well. Gradually yet vigorously beat in water, squashing lumps. Let sit 1 hour. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter after it has set 1 hour.

Heat at least 3/4 inch oil over medium heat in large skillet. Dip apple slices in batter, about 5 at a time, making sure they are well covered with batter. Lift each out carefully with slotted spatula and lower into hot oil. (Oil must be sizzling, but not too hot, or fritters will brown before apple is soft inside.) Cook in batches until medium brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Lift out with slotted spatula and drain on paper towels before serving. Pass superfine sugar for sprinkling.

4 servings. Each serving: 272 calories; 91 mg sodium; 106 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.78 gram fiber.