To reheat the potato pancakes, arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400°F oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 4 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
- 1 small onion peeled
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour Pinch of baking powder
- Pinch of baking powder
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Canola oil, for frying
For the Pear Chutney: Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Add the ginger, allspice and scraped vanilla bean seeds; stir. Add the pears and cranberries, and cook until pears cook down and become soft, and cranberries pop completely. Stir occasionally. Coarsely mash to a chunky consistency. Season with salt and pepper, check for sweetness, adding sugar as desired. Let cool to room temperature.
For the Pepper Creme Fraiche: Whisk together crème fraiche and black pepper. Add salt to taste, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
For the Potato Pancakes: Using a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes then squeeze dry again. Put the potato/onion mixture in a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, egg, salt and pepper, and gently fold to combine.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Drop heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of the spoon. Cook the pancakes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Serve pancakes topped with chutney and a small dollop of pepper crème fraîche.