Russian Cherry Walnut Latkes

Over the years my mom put all sorts of things along side the blintz. I know some years there was broccoli and some years my dad made latkes. Funny, I can’t remember what else was tired but nothing ever seemed to stick. Trying to come up with sides to a cheese blintz is a challenging task. Dinner sides seem out of place and breakfast sides seem odd too. Tradition shows the meal to be lots of fried foods but in the age we live in we want a little more variety and maybe something a little different. 

Several years ago I stumbled across a recipe for Russian Cherry Walnut Latkes with Cherry Applesauce. I clipped it out of the magazine and tucked it way for a future Chanukah. I had forgotten about it for a long time and then when I decided to make a Chanukah dinner for my husband and I I came across it again. Knowing his love of cherries I knew this was the right time to try it. Boy, was I right! These light pillowy pancakes with hints of brown sugar and cherries was the perfect side to maybe my favorite meal of the year.

This last summer as cherries came into season I thought about this wonderful dish and knew that I wanted to use my own canned cherries rather than store bought. We made up a combination of both sweet and sour cherries and canned them. Then as autumn came around the same thought occurred to me about the applesauce. So we bought apples at the farmers market and made our own. Making the topping was the simplest part of this whole thing because all I had to do was pop open a jar of apple sauce and a jar of cherries and mix them together! So good!

FOR THE LATKES:

  • 1/4 cup Dried Tart Cherries
  • 7.5 ounces Farmers Cheese, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 4 Extra Large Eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 150 grams Walnuts, finely chopped, lightly toasted
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Cherry-Apple Sauce

Put the dried cherries in to a small bowl with enough hot water to cover them. Let them soak for about 10 minutes then drain them and set them aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the cheeses, yolks, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add flour, sugar, and salt and mix just until incorporated and no flour can be seen. Mix in reserved cherries and chopped walnuts just until combined.

Using electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold whites into batter in 3 additions.

Melt enough butter and oil to coat the bottom of a heavy large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, drop batter by heaping tablespoons into the pan. (Use either a ladle or a large spoon. You can even pour if you want. This is essential making pancakes. Cook until bottoms are golden about 1 ½ minutes per side. Carefully remove the latkes to a platter or place on the cookie sheet with the blintzes in the oven to keep warm. Add more butter and oil as necessary and allow to get hot before adding more batter. Serve immediately with Cherry-Apple Sauce.

  • 250 grams Applesauce
  • 250 grams Cherry Preserves

Combine and serve. This can be served warm or cold. Homemade sauces and preserves are best but any will work.

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