Hello everyone, today I have my delicious “Grandma’s Potato Pancakes” recipe for you. It is an old family recipe for crispy, delicious “German Potato Pancakes”. Grandma Grete’s Potato Pancakes recipe has never been changed, neither by my mother nor by me. It is quite easy to prepare and the Westphalian Potato Pancakes do not contain flour, so they are also a wonderful recipe for people on a gluten-free diet.
CLASSIC GERMAN POTATO PANCAKES
The Pancake batter is made from not too finely grated potatoes, eggs, salt, a small onion and some grated oats. There are many different names for the Potato Pancakes in Germany. Depending on the region, they are also called “Kartoffelpuffer”, “Reibeplätzchen” or, as in southern Germany, “Reiberdatschi”. My grandma still called them “Riewekauken” and said “Pannekoken” when speaking about pancakes. My grandmother came from Munsterland, but lived most of her life in Hagen. She could still speak “Plattdeutsch” (or lower German how it is often called, a dialect that was common in northern Germany), but very rarely did.
Here in Westphalia, people often eat delicious “Applesauce” or sometimes even sugar beet syrup with the potato pancakes. When we used to have potato pancakes, my mother and grandmother would often take turns frying them and there would be mountains of the fried potato pancakes. We were four children and usually one or the other neighbor’s child was with us when we had pancakes or potato pancakes. We often had a competition to see who could eat the most of them. With 12 pieces, I was usually in the good middle range.
Grandma’s best german Potato Pancakes Recipe
But at our house, we never had them with sugar or sugar beet syrup. My mom always cooked a big bowl of applesauce with them. My grandma also sometimes had cream-matjes-herring with the “Reibeplätzchen”. If there were a few potato pancakes left over, we would put them cold between two neatly buttered slices of bread in the evening and eat them.
I still do that today sometimes, which then creeps out my husband a bit as he has never eaten it during his childhood! I bake my potato pancakes in plenty of oil in an old iron pan, which is in no way close to beautiful but fries super well. Make sure to heat the pan properly so that the oil is really hot, that is very important! Potato pancakes have a long tradition in Germany and are not only very popular at home, but also often found in traditional German restaurants or at markets.
The potato dough should be added to the pan in portions that are not too large. I use 2 tablespoons of the potato batter for this. The grated patties should really be swimming in the oil. After frying, I place them briefly on paper towels to drain. To me, “Reibeplätzchen” have to be crispy, juicy and delicious! I have never changed “Grandma’s Reibekuchen” recipe, because they are just so good as they are.
TRADITIONAL HOMEMADE POTATO PANCAKES FROM GRATED POTATOES
When I fry these treats for us, it is always a visit back to my childhood! Whether at the fair, Christmas market or fair, if there are potato pancakes, Kartoffelpuffer, Reiberdatschi, Rievkooche or Reibeplätzchen or whatever the region might name it, I immediately stand in the longest queue!
At our house, the potato pancakes were often fried on Saturday evening, since we almost never ate hot cooked food on Saturday. Saturday’s breakfasts were always late, and we had bread buns or farmer’s rolls. In addition, there was sausage, cheese and meat spread. My mother went shopping for the weekend and Sunday dinner was prepared
. She cooked fresh beef soup and roasted the Sunday roast. So there was simply no time for a big dinner. But if she had time in the evening, there were mountains of potato pancakes! All four of us kids, my sisters and I loved them so much. It was always important for us that the potato pancakes came out of the pan fresh, crispy and golden brown. Often we stood at the stove while my mother was frying them and begged for one directly from the pan!
Here’s a little advice: Peel the potatoes, then grate 3 to 4 of them by hand with a fine grater and the rest in a food processor. Mine go into my ancient “Moulinette”. Make sure to not grate them too finely. My grandma and mother used to grate the potatoes completely by hand, which was a lot of work and often brought bloody fingers. I also only make potato pancakes in the winter months, as the young new potatoes have far too much water in the spring.
I take one half each of mainly hard boilinge and floury potatoes, which contain more starch. By grating a few extra potatoes by hand, and making them a little coarser than those from
the food processor, you have less liquid in the potato batter. I then carefully pour off the potato liquid that still settles on the dough or remove it with a spoon. My grandma used to pour the potato water into a bowl, and after a short time the potato starch would settle on the bottom. She would then carefully pour off the water and add the settled starch back into the potato dough.
GERMAN “KARTOFFELPUFFER” MADE FROM SCRATCH
If you like potato pancakes just like me, I have another super yummy recipe for hash browns made with raw potatoes on the blog. We like to eat them with smoked salmon and a crème fraiche dip with nice herbs. For the classic German hash brown called “Rösti” made from hard-boiling/waxy potatoes, I shave the potatoes very coarsely. I hope you enjoy reading, strolling through and trying out my cooking and baking recipes!
Grandma’s crispy Westphalian potato pancake recipe. The potato pancake dough for the “Reibeplätzchen” is prepared with grated potatoes, eggs, onion and oats. The potato pancakes go well with applesauce. You can find a recipe for lovely Applesauce on my blog as well.
- 1 heavy Pan1
- 1 cutting board
- 1 paring knife
- 1 bowl
- 1 Spoon
- 1 potato grater
- 1 Kilo Potatoes (mainly hard boiling & floury)
- 2 Eggs
- 20 g Oat flakes Grated in hand
- 1 Onion small
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Oil for frying
- It is best to prepare all needed ingredients right at the beginning. You can do yourself a big favor by weighing and measuring your ingredients right from the start, too.
- Peel the potatoes and the onion. Peel, wash and drain well.
- Grate 3-4 potatoes with a fine grater. I use the fine side of my square grater. The remaining potatoes are grated with the food processor, or also by hand if you don’t have any machine at hand.
- Mix the eggs, salt and a pinch of nutmeg well with the crushed oats and the potato dough. Heat a good amount of oil in a frying pan.
- Fry the potato pancakes in very hot oil. Once the potato pancakes get a nice brown and crispy edge, you can turn them around.
- Fry them for 3-4 minutes from the other side. After frying, the potato pancakes should drain a little on kitchen paper.