For a certain segment of the population, potato pancakes can incite a strong emotional reaction. Should they be thin? Lacy little doilies of potato, as much fry as starch. This kind should be eaten immediately, straight from griddle to mouth, without even pausing at a plate if possible. Like the finest shredded hash-brown.
In my family, however, potato pancakes have always been thick. A crisp crust that resists the teeth at first, but crumbles into a silky center of potato spiked with onion. These are the kinds of cakes that shoulder the weight of apple sauce and sour cream without so much as a shudder. And if you have leftovers, they can even be enjoyed again the next day (but please re-crisp them in the oven).
As with all of my old family recipes, these come straight out of tradition and I haven't messed with them. My grandmother claims that this is the way her mother made them (although now we use a food processor, we're just not that home-spun). Maybe you'll want to have a go at it as well.
German Potato Pancakes
5 red potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
Cut the potatoes in cubes so they fit in the food processor. Place one potato and one egg into the food processor and pulse until the potato is shredded so that it doesn't become mush. Transfer the potato mixture to a bowl. Repeate with the rest of the potatoes and eggs, adding in 1/2 an onion to two of the potatoes before processing. You will have 1 more potatoe than egg.
Once all of the potatoes are processed, add the flour and salt and fold it in. As you stir, look for large chuncks of potatoe that may have slipped through and remove them.
Coat the bottom of a pan with oil and heat on medium until the oil shimmers. Add the batter to the pan in quarter cups, just as you would with normal pancakes. Cook until golden brown and then flip. Once cooked through, transfer to papertowel lined plates to drain, keep in a slow oven if necessary to keep warm before serving with a generous dollop of apple sauce or sour cream.