Can you believe that it's already October? And if you live in western Montana like me, you know what that means -- snow on the mountains! Insane, right? And all too soon we're going to have snow down here in the valley as well. Brrr.
Thankfully, it's just chilly enough at the moment to make being snug inside nice and cozy. To my great sadness the Best Husband Ever has been away all week on a trip to the other side of the country for work. It feels rather like he's on the other side of the world, but the up side of his not being here is that I could light up the fireplace without guilt (he likes it coooold inside). I also made some dinners that don't exactly line up with his taste preferences, but that make me a happy chef and happy devourer.
Like these Jewish-inspired apple latkes, for example. I created them for the October round of the Royal Foodie Joust. The required ingredients were apples (crunch crunch!), maple, and cayenne. What would you make with those ingredients? I made latkes, and they were delightfully warm and delicious on these blustery, gray days.
Apple Latkes with Maple Cream Yogurt & Spiced Applesauce
For the latkes:
2 apples (I used Gala)*
1/2 cup milk, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup applesauce
2+ T maple syrup
1/2 tsp cayenne
For the toppings (optional, although recommended!):
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 T maple syrup
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup applesauce
big pinch of cayenne
You can prepare the apples one of two ways: either core, peel, and grate them, or core and chop the apples and mince them in a blender or food processor (I chose the latter). Use 1/4 cup of milk to process as needed.
Beat the egg in a bowl with the milk (I used liquid egg replacer and skim milk). Stir in the applesauce and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oat bran, baking powder, sugar, and cayenne. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until just combined.
Coat a skillet with non-stick cooking spray or your favorite oil and allow it to warm over high heat. While it is heating, prepare your toppings of choice. To make the maple cream, whip the yogurt with 1 Tablespoon maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne. To make the spiced applesauce, mix a big pinch of cayenne into 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. (If you processed your apples with milk instead of grating, you can add a third apple and use the processed yield instead of store-bought applesauce for the topping.) Set the two bowls of toppings aside.
Return to the latkes. Plop a large spoonful of batter onto the heated skillet. Cook until the top just begins to bubble, then flip and cook the other side for a few more minutes. Be careful -- in using a higher heat, these latkes cook fast!
Remove the cooked latke from the skillet and place on a warm plate. If you used oil to cook the latkes, place the finished pancakes on a paper towel to absorb any excess.
Serve the apple latkes piping hot and topped with maple cream and/or spiced applesauce. If you wish, sprinkle lightly with additional cayenne or drizzle with maple syrup.
*To add something truly special to these Jewish-inspired apple latkes, core, slice, and roast your apples for 30-40 minutes first. Allow to cool, then proceed with the recipe. Sprinkle the apple slices with cayenne before roasting to give them an extra zing.