My Grandmother’s Kartoffelpuffer
by eat in my kitchen
My grandmother’s kitchen had a wooden bench on one side, with a table and three chairs in front of a window from which I could see her peaceful garden. I used to sit there while she cooked for me, busy with her pots and pans preparing my favourite dishes. She grew beautiful roses next to a meadow which was covered in daisies blooming under the branches of her big cherry tree. It was the most perfect cherry tree, with a swing that made me feel like I could touch the sky! I could sit and swing for hours, daydreaming or waiting for my granny’s lunch. Whenever I visited her for a couple days she asked me for a list of things I would like to eat. I used to give her a long list, always too long to be able to eat all of my favourites but I loved this ritual!
One of these lunches, my personal highlight that I always had to have at least once, was a fried cake made of grated potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, flour and eggs. It was crisp on the outside and juicy inside, similar to latke. Where I come from they are called Reibekuchen or Kartoffelpuffer meaning grated cake or potato cushions. We eat them with apple compote, sugar beet syrup or sugar which was my childhood favourite!
For 3-4 people you need
potatoes, peeled and grated, 700g / 25 ounces
celery, peeled and grated, 150g / 5.5 ounces
carrots, peeled or cleaned and grated, 200g / 7 ounces
large onions, peeled and grated, 2
plain flour 130g / 4.5 ounces
salt 2 heaped teaspoons
ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
sugar for sprinkling
apple compote to serve
sugar beet syrup to serve
Squeeze the liquid out of the grated vegetables, dry them between kitchen role and mix with the other ingredients to a dough.
In a large heavy pan heat up the oil on highest temperature, the oil should cover the bottom about 1/2 cm / 1/4″. When it’s hot scoop about 3 tablespoons of the dough into the pan for each cake and even it out. I fry 3 cakes at a time. When they are golden brown, turn them around. They need around 2-3 minutes on each side, you might have to turn the temperature down a little. Take them out of the pan and put between kitchen role to soak the oil. Serve with sugar, apple compote or sugar beet syrup. If you prefer a savory version you can serve them with smoked salmon or my gravad lax.