A fall spin on the traditional latkes, these crispy and slightly sweet latkes are made with pear and sweet potato and flavored with brown sugar, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. Think of your favorite fall dessert, but in latke form!
Pear Latkes with a Fall Twist
Every Hanukkah season, I always think of a new twist from the traditional potato latkes. Name a vegetable or fruit, I've done it! Everything from parsnip latkes to beet latkes to yucca latkes and lastly my Indian Spiced Cauliflower Latkes with Cilantro Chutney.
But this is the first year I took a sweet fruit and turned them into sweet latkes. Pear and sweet potato make up the latkes and are flavored with fall spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar for a candy like touch.
As the latkes fry, the brown sugar caramelizes, creating a slightly chewy texture and can be enjoyed as part of a latke spread or as a dessert latke.
What Type of Pear to use for Pear Latkes
Whenever there us fruit in a cooked recipe, I always recommend using firmer fruits so they can cold up in cooking. For the pear latkes, I used Starkrimson pears, which are both beautiful to look at, but also sweet and floral.
If you can't find Starkrimson pears, Comice pears would be a good substitute for their sweetness. Just be sure to pick firm pears that are not too soft.
Tips on Making Pear Latkes
- Use firmer pears that are not too soft and without any bruising.
- Squeeze out most of the shredded pear and sweet potatoes, which will provide a crispier latke.
- Use a high heat cooking oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed oil.
- Latkes are best eaten fresh, but can be reheated. Place latkes on wire lined baking sheet and in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until crisped and warmed through.
More Pear Recipes to Try
Pear and Sweet Potato Latkes
- Use a hand grater or shred attachment of a food processor to grate the sweet potato and pears and squeeze out most of the moisture.
- Add mixture to a large bowl, along with whisked eggs, matzo meal, brown sugar and spices and mix well.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet so it comes up ½ an inch. Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dollop a large tablespoon of latke mixture into the hot oil and if it sizzles right away, it’s ready. Use the back of the spoon to gently press down on the latke so it is a bit flatter.
- Fry on first side for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown, then flip over and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Continue frying latkes in batches, about 3-5 latkes at a time.
- Transfer latkes to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain any excess oil.
- Meanwhile, make the maple crème fraiche. In another bowl, whisk the crème fraiche, cream cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon together and dollop crème fraiche on top of latkes before serving.