They are golden yellow, smell like grandma’s cooking, and taste wonderful – homemade potato pancakes! In the following text, you will find out which variety is the best for tasty potato pancakes, why you should grate the raw potatoes, and what historical events are behind the recipe!
Potato pancakes or potato pancakes?
How you want to call the dish is up to your personal preference – depending on the region, you say potato pancakes or potato pancakes, in some areas also potato cookies. What is meant are flat cakes made of grated potato dough baked in a pan. Onions, spices and the like can be added to the dough. The delicious pancakes are usually eaten with applesauce, but you can also serve them as a hearty main course with salmon or vegetables.
Suitable potato varieties
You have to grate the raw potatoes so that the fritters become fluffy but don’t fall apart. Once cooked, the potatoes are no longer firm enough for the grater – you can still make the dough, but you won’t get a crispy result. Since the consistency of the grating cookies depends on the starch content, you should use a floury or at least predominantly waxy variety. These variants usually have a higher starch content than waxy variants.
These are the best varieties for delicious potato pancakes:
- mealy: Ackersegen, Adretta, Aula, Karlena, Bintje
- mainly waxy: Agria, Quarta, Marabel
If you are using a predominantly firm cooking variety, the roasting time may take a little longer.
The right grater
With many food processors, you can choose the degree of grating yourself. The finer the grater is set, the more liquid your dough will be. You’ll then need to wring out plenty of water so the result doesn’t get too muddy. But always keep some potato water, because it contains the starch, and only then can the full flavor develop. Potato pancakes made from coarsely grated potatoes need a little longer in the pan.
Once you have cooked the potatoes, mash them and convert your potato pancakes into slightly thicker potato pancakes. Unfortunately, grating doesn’t work with boiled potatoes unless you get them straight from the fridge. The aroma is definitely not as intense anymore. A historical trick will help you here: Use the boiled potatoes by grating them with the skin! There are enough vitamins, nutrients and, above all, flavorings in the shell for an optimal result. In times of war, this was a popular way of making several dishes from one potato: mashed potatoes from the inside, potato pancakes from the thickly grated skin.
Potato pancakes are traditionally fried in a pan with lots of fat. To save a few calories, you can turn the potato pancakes on kitchen paper after frying. If the batter is liquid enough, you can also prepare it in the waffle iron! A thin brushing or spraying of the baking surfaces is sufficient.