Dairy foods are important at Hanukkah. Some trace the custom to the story of Judith, whose delicious cheesecakes so distracted the Assyrian general Holofernes that she was able to behead him, thus saving the Jews from slaughter.
- For Latke:
- 1 cup regular or lowfat cottage cheese
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch salt
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 cup oil, for frying
- For Apple-Pear Puree:
- 3 ripe Comice or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
Beat cottage cheese, egg yolks, flour, sugar, cream, salt, and lemon zest until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into cheese mixture.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot. Drop 4 tablespoons batter into the pan to form each latke. Fry until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Use more oil for each batch as needed. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a 250 degree F oven until ready to serve. Serve with Apple-Pear Puree.
Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until fruit is soft and starts to break down, 12 to 14 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium-high heat until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Puree in a food mill or food processor. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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