Serves 6; can be multiplied.
2 very large or 3 medium russet potatoes
1 small onion
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried thyme leaf
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Peanut oil for frying
Prepare a large mixing bowl by spreading a clean dish towel inside.
Peel the potatoes and onion, and cut into chunks that can fit through the feed tube of a food processor. With the processor fitted with the shredding blade, pass the potato and onion chunks through until everything is shredded. Dump the shredded potato mixture into the clean dish towel, and squeeze until you've gotten all of the liquid out that you can.
Remove the shredding disk and insert the metal blade in your processor. Add the potato mixture back into the processor, and pulse 10 times to chop slightly without pulverizing your potatoes. Remove from the processor into a large mixing bowl.
Add peanut oil to a large frying pan, to a depth of 1/4 inch. Preheat the pan over medium-low heat while you finish making the latke mixture.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, to the potatoes and mix thoroughly (I use my impeccably clean hands for this). Test that the oil is hot by inserting a chopstick vertically; if you see little bubbles emanating from the tip of the chopstick, the oil is hot enough.
I always make one tiny test latke, so I can make sure the mixture has enough salt. You can skip this step if you wish.
Drop the batter in large spoonfuls into the oil, a few at a time. Cook until brown on both sides, to your desired level of crispness (I prefer medium brown, with a moist center). Remove to a plate covered with paper towels and drain thoroughly. (Latkes are best made right before you plan to eat them, but you can make them up to a day ahead and reheat in the oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.)
Serve with warm applesauce and/or sour cream.
NOTE: You can make latkes without a food processor; simply grate the potato and onion on the largest holes of a box grater. Squeeze out the liquid in a clean dish towel, and proceed with the recipe.