Holiday Recipes: Latkes with Carrot Puree and Pumpkin Pie with Pecan & Walnut Topping

Holiday Recipes: Latkes with Carrot Puree and Pumpkin Pie with Pecan & Walnut Topping

One of the things we do best at Holland America Line is serve up exception cuisine. From our main dining room to alternative choices including Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind and Sel de Mer, our guests go home with new experiences and happy palates. For the holidays we enjoy bringing our recipes to your kitchens, and nothing says “Happy Holidays” like two incredible dishes from our own Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. So whether you celebrate Hanukkah and serve latkes or have a traditional Christmas meal with pumpkin pie, these two recipes are sure to delight family and friends.



Hanukkah is here – a time for gatherings with family and friends, eight days of presents and great food! Here’s a delicious, modern take on a traditional favorite: Latkes with Sweet Carrot Puree. Enjoy!

8 servings

Carrot puree is a colorful alternative to traditional applesauce. If you use a food processor to make the latkes, grate the onion and potato in alternation, which keeps the potato from turning gray.


Sweet Carrot Puree

1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Latke Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled
1 yellow onion
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup matzo meal
Canola oil or light olive oil, for frying


Sweet Carrot Puree

In a large pot, cook the carrots in enough boiling salted water to cover them by 1 inch until tender, about 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a food processor or blender and puree with the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and cumin. Transfer to a bowl. (The carrot puree can keep, covered, for up to one day in the refrigerator. Rewarm before serving.)


1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a paper towel. On the large holes of a box grater, shred the potatoes and onion (or use the shredding disk of a food processor, quartering the onions and cutting the potatoes lengthwise so they fit down the feed tube.)

2. With your hands or a clean kitchen towel, squeeze as much excess liquid as possible from the potatoes and onion, reserving the liquid in a large bowl. Let the starch in the liquid settle to the bottom of the bowl (it will only take a couple of minutes) and pour off the watery top. Add the drained potatoes and onion to the bowl along with the salt, pepper, egg, and matzo meal. Toss to mix evenly.

3. Pour 1/3 inch oil into a 10- or 12-inch frying pan or cast iron skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat. When a deep-frying thermometer registers 360 degrees F and the oil is very hot but not smoking (a shred of potato should sizzle upon contact when it’s ready), stir the potato mixture again, form 2 tablespoons of it into a pancake with your hands, and carefully slip it into the pan. Quickly form and slip in just enough additional pancakes to fit comfortably in the pan. Cook, turning them once, until they are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. With a slotted spatula, transfer each finished batch to the baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven while making more latkes. Serve the warm latkes with the carrot puree alongside.


No need to choose between pumpkin and pecan pie this Christmas—here’s a pie to please everyone who craves traditional desserts.

Yield: 6 Servings



1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening


2 cups pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh made
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk

Crunchy Pecan and Walnut Topping:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Pie Crust:

1. In a cup, mix 6 tablespoons water with ice and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Using your fingertips, a pastry blender or two knives, work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternately, combine the ingredients in a food processor, using short pulses.)

2. With a fork, stir in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, using only as much as needed to gather the mixture into a soft ball. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over a rolling pin and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Fold the edge under and crimp. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 20 minutes.


1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, spices, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat in the eggs and evaporated milk until thoroughly combined.

2. Pour the pumpkin filling into the prepared pie shell and jiggle pan gently to level out the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes, or until a knife is inserted halfway between the center and edges comes out clean. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Crunchy Pecan and Walnut Topping:

Heat the broiler. In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the pie and place it under the broiler about 5 inches from the heat source until the mixture begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving.

If you make either of these recipes, snap a photo and send to info@hollandamericablog.com! Happy Holidays!


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