Brunch recipe: How to make potatisbullar, or Swedish potato cakes

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      From Scandinavian cuisine, here’s a recipe for potatisbullar (potato cakes), developed by Diversivore for B.C. Egg.  

      These potato cakes are creamy on the inside but crispy on the outside. They’re first fried, then baked to complete the texture.

      They can either be served as a side dish, or as an entrée, with a number of add-ons to spruce them up.

      Potatisbullar (Swedish potato cakes)


      2 lbs (900 g) Yukon gold potatoes or similar (see note below)
      1 large yellow onion (about 250 g)
      1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour
      2 large eggs
      1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
      pepper to taste
      2 tbsp (30 ml) butter for frying
      1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil for frying

      To serve (all optional)
      lingonberry jam, or cranberry preserves
      spring greens
      sour cream


      Peel and chop the potatoes into large pieces.
      Drop them into a large pot filled with cold water and about 1 tsp of salt.
      Bring the pot to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a knife.
      Thoroughly drain the cooked potatoes, then coarsely mash them with a fork or potato masher (see note below for variation).
      Set them aside to cool somewhat.

      Finely dice the onion. Add the onion, eggs, salt, and pepper to the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
      Preheat oven to 150 C (300 F).
      Heat about 1.5 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat on the stove top.

      Wet your hands thoroughly, then form the mixture into small balls (about the size of a large egg).
      Don’t worry if they’re particularly sticky.
      Drop the balls into the pan—and fry in butter until golden brown and easy to flip—about 3 minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

      Transfer the fried cakes to a baking sheet.
      Repeat with remaining batter, adding a little more butter and oil whenever the pan begins to get a bit dry.

      Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes (but see note on potato varieties), or until the cakes are well-set but still creamy inside.
      If you cook a full batch, I recommend frying enough to fill a single tray, then placing these in the oven while you fry more cakes for a second tray.

      Serve the finished cakes warm, with prepared sides.


      Potato variety: I used Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe. These delicious all-purpose potatoes are somewhat waxy, and retain much more moisture than a floury russet potato.
      Because of this, they make for a wet batter that can’t be easily formed into patties.
      The finished potato cakes are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, but do require the additional baking time noted in the instructions.
      If you choose, you can substitute a floury potato variety (e.g. a russet). These potatoes fall apart much more when cooked, and yield a dryer, lighter mash.
       The resulting batter can be formed into patties much more easily, and yields a softer, airier, more uniform potato cake with a crispy exterior.
      Potatisbullar made with floury potatoes may require very little baking after the frying stage, or even none at all.

      Potato ricer variation: I like some texture inside the finished potato cakes, so I coarsely mash the potatoes with a fork.
      If you want a softer and more uniform interior, you can run the potatoes through a ricer to get a fine mash.

      Optional add-ins: fennel seed, parsley, nutmeg.