Gluten-Free Potato Pancakes with Red Onion-Apple Compote

Gluten-Free Potato Pancakes with Red Onion-Apple CompoteMy mom and my aunt used to spend hours in the kitchen together making potato pancakes.  And I mean hours!

I loved those hours! They’d grate and grate potatoes, fry and fry the pancakes, and talk and laugh — a lot!

These cooking get-togethers usually took place around Hanukkah — and sometimes they happened without any special holiday.  They were always a lot of fun — and they always resulted in a lot of delicious potato pancakes!Gluten-Free Potato Pancakes with Red Onion-Apple CompoteI can only hope my two boys are as close friends as brothers, as my mom and her sweet sister have been over the years.

I almost forgot to mention — these are delicious!   I like to make them smallish, almost like an hors d’oeuvre size — but, you can make them any size you’d like!  Gluten-Free Potato Pancakes with Red Onion-Apple CompoteAnd the compote is a divine treat on top!

Gluten-Free Potato Pancakes with Red Onion-Apple Compote
Prep time
Total time
Makes approximately 2-1/2 dozen small pancakes
For the compote:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into a small dice
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup hard apple cider
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pancakes:
  • 3 cups peeled and finely grated Idaho Russet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup brown onion, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives for garnish
To make the compote:
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the onion and cook until it's soft, about 3 minutes. Then add the apple, sugar and cinnamon and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the hard apple cider. Return the pan to the heat, and cook until the liquid had almost completely evaporated, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and more sugar if necessary.
To make the potato pancakes:
  1. As soon as you grate the potatoes, place them in a strainer, over a mixing bowl. Then use your hands to squeeze the potatoes firmly to get any extra liquid. Let them sit for a few minutes and then squeeze them again.
  2. Add the grated and well drained potatoes to a large mixing bowl along with the eggs and breadcrumbs.
  3. Just as you squeezed any excess liquid out of the potatoes, do the same with the onions. Then add them to the potato mixture. Use your hands to mix everything together evenly. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. As with any burger I ever make, here, too, it's important to do a "seasoning test" before making your pancakes.
  5. Heat a bit of the grapeseed oil in your sauté pan and once it's hot, place a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of the meat mixture in the pan. Sauté until it's golden brown, about 20 seconds per side. Now taste! Does it need more salt and pepper? Adjust the seasonings!
  6. Generously coat a large sauté pan with grapeseed oil, and place it over medium-high heat.
  7. Shape the rest of the potato mixture into approximately 2-inch evenly-sized pancakes, placing them in the preheated pan as you go. There should be at least an inch or so between them. Gently press each one to flatten slightly. Cook until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  8. Continue sautéing the pancakes using more of the oil if necessary.
  9. Serve slightly warmed, with a dollop of the compote and a sprinkling of finely chopped chives on each one.
Squeezing the liquid out of the grated potatoes (and onion) is extremely important! The more you do this, the crisper your potato pancakes will be!

Back in the day when my mom and Aunt were cooking away, they were using matzo meal -- not gluten-free bread crumbs. Use what you'd like!

Up to 2 days and at least 1 hour ahead: Make the compote.
Up to 6 hours and at least 20 mnutes ahead: Make the potato pancakes.
5 minutes ahead: Warm in the oven and sprinkle with the chives.


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