Martha's Favorite Potato Pancakes

Martha’s Favorite Potato Pancake
Photo: Gentl and Hyers
6 Serves

Martha shares her recipe for latkes, the potato pancakes that are traditionally prepared for Hanukkah dinners. Serve them warm from the oven with accompaniments like applesauce, sour cream, and caviar.


  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled

  • 1 small white onion, finely grated

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • ¼ cup lager or ale

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Pink applesauce, for serving (optional)

  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)

  • Caviar, such as Kaluga Imperial, for serving (optional)


  1. Grate potatoes in long shreds, using smooth strokes to run across the large holes of a grater into a large bowl of cold water. Set a sieve or colander over a second bowl and drain potatoes, reserving liquid.

  2. Set liquid aside until starch sinks to bottom of bowl, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour liquid from bowl and discard, reserving milky residue (potato starch). Transfer potatoes to bowl with potato starch.

  3. Add onion to the bowl, then stir in eggs, beer, flour, and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper.

  4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat 1/2 inch oil. Spoon 1/4 cup potato mixture per pancake into skillet. (Make a few at a time, being careful that they don’t run into one another.)

  5. Fry pancakes, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain and keep warm in oven while frying the rest. Serve warm with apple- sauce, sour cream, and caviar, if desired.

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