Growing up, Fridays generally meant potato pancakes for lunch. My mom sure could make delicious “Kartoffelpuffer”, or “Pflinsen”,as they were known in our dialect.
Hey, try to quickly say that five times in a row! 😉
By the time we’d get home from school, she had already peeled and grated I don’t know how many pounds of spuds, mixed them with a few eggs, a pinch of salt and then fried the potato pancakes to a perfect crisp.
When it was time to eat, my mother would park an almost mile-high pile of Kartoffelpuffer stacked neatly on a plate right in the center of the table. My little sister and favorite aunt always amazed me with how many of those pancakes they could make disappear!
So when I had a couple of my favorite friends over recently for a triple plus one birthday celebration, we feasted on potato pancakes. In Germany, potato pancakes are almost always eaten with apple sauce and a green salad. So that’s what we had!
I made the apple sauce at the day before. There were a few quinces left over from another cooking project, so I added them to the apple sauce. They add an unique flavor, and the longer they cook the more pink and sweet they turn. Especially if you leave the skin on. Once the compote has finished cooking, just put everything through a food mill or press it through a fine sieve. The resulting apple sauce was fantastic. Tart, sweet and incredibly flavorful!
My friends arrived a little early to help with the final touches of the meal. Marlene went straight to work and grated the potatoes. Boy was she fast!! Once the pancakes were all fried, we all sat down and enjoyed the yummy food.
If you’ve never had these, give them a try. They’re quick and easy to make, especially if you can grate the potatoes in a food processor.
Here’s the recipe for the apple sauce:
- 6 to 8 large apples, cored and cut into chunks (I used local Golden Delicious)
- 2 quinces, cored and cut into pieces
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
- seeds from a vanilla bean or a little vanilla sugar
- 1/2 to 1 lemon
Place the cut-up apples and quinces pieces into a heavy sauce pan.
Cover with water and add the lemon juice and lemon halves to the pot.
Turn the flame on medium-high and bring everything to a boil.
Reduce heat to a very low simmer and add sugar. Start with the lesser amount.
If it’s not sweet enough for you later, you can always add more.
Gently simmer this until the apple and quince are very soft.
Put the fruit through a food mill or press it through a fine sieve.
Put the apple sauce back into the pot and continue to simmer on very low
until the desired texture and consistency is reached.
When it’s done, cool the apple sauce and taste it.
Add more sugar if needed, then refrigerate until needed.
Here’s the recipe for potato pancakes:
- potatoes peeled and finely grated ( Yukon Gold are tasty)
- a little sea salt
- olive oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and grate them into a large bowl.
We used about 8 fist-size potatoes and 3 eggs.
Add the eggs and a sprinkle of salt.
Mix until well combined.
Heat a little oil on a griddle or in a pan.
My griddle holds about 3 smallish pancakes at a time.
Fry until crispy and then flip over.
Cook until the other side is nicely browned as well.
Keep them warm in the oven until they are all fried.
Serve with apple sauce and a green salad.