Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus (Potato Pancakes with Chunky Apple Sauce)

Pin It
I wish I wish I wish. I wish I could cook and bake and enjoy life as much as I want. But unfortunately, there's stuff do to. Smart people stuff. Whether I'm up for the task has yet to be proven. I am working on my bachelor's thesis right now and am kind of in the crucial initial phase. Naturally, that means that it is taking up most of my time, leaving a little less for cooking and blogging. So today's main theme is: Keeping it simple.

German Potato Pancakes with Chunky Apple Sauce

You know what I have noticed? While I'm German, I have not posted any traditional German recipes so far. That is because I don't really know what “German Cuisine” is. I just heard some people yell “SAUERKRAUT!!”. Well, yes and no. Sauerkraut is eaten everywhere in Germany today, but traditionally, you would not find it in the northern parts. And then, every region would traditionally prepare and serve it differently along with different dishes.

See, historically, the area now known as Germany consisted of many small kingdoms and dukedoms each differing culturally, linguistically and culinary which one still notices today. I would not be able to understand people from the deepest parts of Bavaria. So even if a dish is prepared in a similar way in more than just one place, the name can still be different.

Those where a lot of differences in one post.

German Potato Pancakes with Chunky Apple Sauce
This is basically all you need.

These bad boys here for example, while basically known all over Central Europe, are called “Kartoffelpuffer” where I live. Other names would be “Erdäpfelpuffer“, „Reibekuchen“, „Reiberdatschi“, „Reibeplätzchen“, „Kartoffelpfannkuchen“ „Baggers“ and „Flinsen“ . See what I mean? Internationally, they are better known as latkes or simply potato pancakes.

For sticking with the 'simple' theme, I kept mine vegan, keeping it as simple as possible. The apple sauce however as a bit of an autumn like twist with roasted almonds and raisins. Onions along with a rather sweet dish? Yes. Trust me when I say that you won't taste them. Yet they are essential for having a lot of that roasted flavour!
German Potato Pancakes with Chunky Apple Sauce

Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus (Potato Pancakes with Chunky Apple Sauce)

Potato Pancakes

  • 1 kg (35.3 oz.) potatoes
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 tbsp starch flour
  • 1/4 ts ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • oil for frying

  1. Peel and grate potatoes and onions. With your hands, tightly squeeze out as much liquid as possible (I am sure there are more sophisticated methods, but I am not that fancy and stick to the 'simple' theme here).
  2. Add starch flour, nutmeg and salt. Stir well and set aside and start preparing apple sauce. Your batter might get a grayish tone that, while it will not be visible when prepared anymore, does not look too appetizing. To prevent the colour change, add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  3. When apple sauce is cooking, heat up a pan. Cover bottom of pan with oil. You will need quite a bit or the potato pancakes will stick. 
  4. When oil is hot, stir potato mass again and place a heaping tablespoon of it it the pan, pressing it down with a spatula immediately, forming a patty (it is better to use a bit more batter than too little). I would recommend only placing up to three patties in the pan. Slightly shake pan to prevent patties from sticking to the bottom. After about three minutes or when you see that the patties are starting to brown, carefully flip them over. 
  5. If the potato pancakes are not browned enough to you liking, turn them over and over again until they are. The crucial part for them to stick together and not on the bottom really is the first turn. 
  6. Lay them out on paper towels to soak up some of the fat.

Chunky Apple Sauce

  • About 1kg (35.3 oz.) apples (preferably tart)
  • A splash of lemon juice
  • 1 ts cinnamon
  • 150-200g (5.3-7 oz.) almond slivers
  • 100g (3.5 oz.) raisins
  • Sugar to taste

  1. Remove core from apples and dice them in cubes of about 1''. You can peel them if you would like to. I did not. Throw them in a large pot heated up on low heat along with a splash of lemon juice. Stir well.
  2. In a small pot, dry roast the almond slivers until they browned to your liking, add to the apples.
  3. Once the apples start to soften, add all other ingredients. Stir occasionally until most apples have cooked into a sauce, yet still with some chunks remaining.
  4. Add sugar to your liking. I found my apple sauce to be sweet enough because of the raisins.

Serve along with potato pancakes and enjoy!


  1. These look lovely!
    I love potato pancakes.
    The funny thing is that I just went to Trader Joe's after the gym today and their sample here in Brooklyn was potato pancakes and chunky apple sauce! Too funny!
    I'm sure the homemade ones are even better.

  2. These look delicious, I love potato pancakes and my husband always wants me to make them, but mine don't turn out. I will give your recipe a try. Thanks!!

  3. Thanks for sharing what you think about German food as a German perspective. It's interesting! European countries are so close to each other and I'm sure each country shares similar recipes, yet German particularly has not too many original food. I love potatoes and crunchy texture, so I was so happy to see this post. :-) I'm usually too lazy (way too lazy) to shred, but I won't mind making this at all. With apple sauce, it must be delicious!

  4. Love it! What a great history lesson :) I've only been to Germany once but it was on Contiki so totally doesnt count lol.
    Love the pancakes :) theres nothing better than crispy potato

  5. What a great recipe.. I love pancakes like this... potatoes are so yummy. :)


I am eager to know what you have to say! Feed me comments.