Next week, for the first time since 1888, we get to light Hanukkah candles on Thanksgiving. The next time we’ll get to do it… 2070 according to Chabad, and some pessimists say it won’t be for another 70,000 or so years. Either way, this year is a once or twice in a lifetime to go Thanksgivikkah crazy and make… pumpkin latkes! OK, so this may not be the culinary event of seven millenia, but why not?
In honor of this meeting of worlds, traditions, events and gastro-rituals, I threw together this recipe. I wasn’t sure if it would work – pumpkin is rather watery and can cause problems when added to a mixture that you’d rather not see running with liquid. The secret is in the flour… don’t skip it! Also, as you know, I hate frying and see no need to not bake these in the oven – easier and less fattening too. But if you feel the need to maintain the Hanukkah tradition of soaking all you eat in hot oil, skip the oven stage and fry them instead in hot oil as you would regular latkes.
If the picture is less than glam, it’s because my family grabbed them hot off the baking pan and demolished them before you could say “Maccabi Pilgrims!”
THANKSGIVIKKAH POTATO PUMPKIN OVEN BAKED LATKES
700-800 g (1½ lbs) pumpkin
2 medium sized potatoes
¼ cup of flour (you can also use whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
3 tablespoons oil
How to do it
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
2. Cut the pumpkin into 2-3cm (1 inch) thick slices and place on a lighly oiled and baking papered baking tray. Roast for about half an hour or until the pupkin is completely cooked through and slightly browning. (You can do this a day or two before and store in the fridge).
3. Grate the potatoes (not finely) and rinse them in water to get rid of the starch. Place them in a colander to drain – leave them to drain for about half and hour (at least). Squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands.
4. In a mixing bowl combine the potato, pumpkin (which you mash up with a fork), eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon (if using).
5. Place a piece of baking paper on a large baking tray and spread the oil on the paper evenly. Drop about one tablespoon of the mixture on the paper and flatten it a bit with the spoon or a spatula and tuck in any loose strands of potato so they don’t burn. Squeeze any excess egg mixture out of the batter before you drop it on the tray.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn over each latke and bake for another 15 minutes or until both sides are browned (you don’t have to add more oil – there will be oil left on the paper).
6. Place the latkes on a double layer of paper towel to dab off any excess oil.
Makes about 20 latkes.
Serve with sour cream and apple sauce or with a dusting of powdered sugar.