Potato Cakes

This recipe is based on one that Alice's mother was taught at school in the 1940s.  It is meant to be a way of using up left-over mashed potato.  It is better when made with floury/baking potatoes rather than waxy/new/salad potatoes.

Makes 4 potato cakes; multiply up as necessary.

The dough made in this recipe freezes very well.  If you use a large baking potato, weighing more like 240 gm, that should allow you to make double the quantity.  Roll all the dough into balls and freeze the ones youíre not going to use straight away.  Get them out of the freezer about an hour before you want to cook them.


For every 120 gm of potato:


  1. Peel the potato and cut it into four.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan half full of water and bring the water to the boil.
  3. Add the potato pieces and let them boil gently for 22 minutes; the potatoes need to be slightly over-cooked so that they are soft and just starting to fall apart.
  4. Drain the potato pieces and put them in a large bowl.
  5. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, or with a fork if you don't have a potato masher (though that will be harder).
  6. Weigh the resulting mash and work out how much of the other ingredients you need for the quantity of mash you have.
  7. Mix the butter and salt in with the mash.
  8. Add all of the flour and mix that in too.
  9. Knead the mixture into a soft dough with your hands.
  10. Divide the dough into four pieces.
  11. Roll each piece into a ball in your hands and then squash each one into a flat, round, cake about 1 cm thick.
  12. Heat a generous knob of butter in a frying pan and add the potato cakes.
  13. Cook them until the underside is browned; donít fiddle with them too soon as they are inclined to stick when not browned and so might break up.
  14. Turn them over and cook them on the other side, adding more butter to the pan if necessary.

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