lefser - norwegian potato pancakes
Being a foodie and admiring Scandinavia necessarily don’t go well together. I have suffered gravely during my first months in Sweden - after years with accessible cuisine experiences in Warsaw I came to a country which is flooded with pizzerias and kebabs. When Swedes want to have Swedish dinner, they go to IKEA. Fine dining places exists here as well, obviously, but what is their benchmark is good quality of the products, while the menu stays basically the same everywhere. Therefore, if I want to discover Scandinavian cuisine, I need to do it in my own kitchen. This is how I ended up making lefser.
Depending on your origin, you either eat pancakes - small and fluffy, eaten with something sweat or bacon - or crepes - large, flat, served with rather savoury filling. Or a variation of those two and that is my Polish household case. What my mom used to make falls into neither category. There is no scientific research behind it, but from my experience Polish pancakes are something in the middle between the American and French version - large, a bit fluffy but still foldable, made from flour, milk and eggs, eaten mostly with jam or white cheese, but with minced meat or spinach as well. Simply, every country has it’s own variation. That being sad, it was still a chock when I found out that Norwegian lefser are made from potatoes and turn into sweet pancakes.
There are many option how to make lefser, both regarding the ingredients and the technical execution. I wouldn’t buy special griddle for that, so I fried my lesfer on a regular pan, or search for the true Swedish cream and butter. Hell, you might even skip potatoes and still call this dish lefser. But we’re here to explore, so I stick to the royal vegetable and put some sugar on it.
LEFSER - BASIC INGREDIENTS
In order to get six lefser (which gives two servings in my case) I used:
-500 g of potatoes
-50 ml of cream (containing at least 30% of fat)
-a bit of sugar (the amount it’s up to your taste)
-pinch of salt
Peel the potatoes, cut into similar sized pieces and boil (I didn’t salt the water). Drain and let them cool. Then, mash (the finer the better, although I still saw chunks while rolling, but I couldn’t taste them) and add the rest of the ingredients. You might melt the butter or just take it out from a fridge earlier - I did that and the butter got soft enough for the mashing part. Now, the flour. Technically I used potatoes rich in starch - didn’t matter, still needed to use a lot of flour. It’s needed for the dough and later for the rolling. Therefore I give no measurements for that. My indicator was the ability to move the lesfe without destroying it - you don’t want it to rip in half during the transport to the pan. But, there is the beauty of simple foods. Even if it rips, you can always join the pieces together on a pan. Cause really, it’s no contest for golden panties.
I fried lefser on a medium heat and a mixture of butter and olive oil. Once golden, they are ready to be flipped. And here is the advantage of lefser over crepes - they don’t break during that.
Another Swedish #firstworldproblem: in this country buying a jam with no sugar is as impossible as finding a proper white cheese. So I make it myself. For that I use frozen berries and chia seeds. I didn’t get the hype of the latter, but I bought it once and use it only for the jam since. I boil them in a pot and after the mixture cools down it gets the density of a jam. Perfect.
HOW TO SERVE LEFSER
But then I ate the third one without anything and it was good a hell yeah idea.
Which version would you try? Or maybe savoury edition? Let me know in the comments!