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Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes) Recipe

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by Catherine Van Bergen (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in. I'm also a booklover- see my reviews at
Published April 15th 2012
Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) are extremely popular in Germany- especially during the colder months- and are usually found at outdoor markets and festivals such as Weihnachtsmarkt (the traditional German Christmas markets). They can be eaten with salt, or more commonly with apple sauce.

You will need:

3 large potatoes
1 onion
1 egg
Ground nutmeg

1. Peel and grate the potatoes.
2. Put the grated potatoes into a clean cheesecloth, bundle it up, and then squeeze all of the liquid out of the potatoes and into a bowl. Instead of a cheesecloth, it is also possible to use a clean dishcloth (like you would use to dry the dishes with)- as long as you are able to squeeze all of the water and starch from the potatoes and into a bowl.
3. Leave the liquid to settle in the bowl for a minute or so, then pour the liquid from the bowl, leaving the potato starch to sit at the bottom.
You will notice that the starch is thicker in appearance and sits at the bottom of the bowl, whereas the watery liquid rises to the top. This liquid is what you want to get rid of.
4. Put the potatoes back into the bowl with the starch.
5. Grate the onion over the potatoes.
6. Add salt, nutmeg and the egg and mix thoroughly. (I have found that it is best to use your hands for this part of the job).
7. Heat some oil in a frying pan and when it is hot enough, place a ball of the potato mixture (about fist-sized) into the pan.
8. Flatten the mixture with a spatula so that it is resembles a fat pancake.
9. Fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels.

This recipe makes approximately eight decent-sized kartoffelpuffer. These potato pancakes are best served hot (freshly made) with either apple sauce (as the Germans traditionally like to eat them), or with salt.
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Why? To taste some traditional German potato pancakes
When: Whenever you feel like it
Where: In your kitchen
Cost: Minimal- you probably have everything you need in the kitchen already
Your Comment
Yum! I had some of these in Germany and loved them. Must try and make my own!
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1206) 3004 days ago
I have made them before [1956] and forgotten how to make them, thank you for the recipe can hardly wait to taste. Susanna airlie
by s.air0 (score: 0|2) 3194 days ago
Draining the potatoes makes potato pancakes more difficult to make. I've made them for years - with same results - by adding a tablespoon of plain flour to absorb liquid rather than draining liquid from potatoes. I like to add garlic and parsley instead of onions.
by jana (score: 0|3) 3194 days ago
My mum was German she passed away 31 years ago, I was blessed to have had her in my life. She used to make them for the family when I was a mere child.You have inspired me and with this recipe I will now make them for my grandchildren. Thank-you. xo
by inski (score: 0|3) 3177 days ago
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