Let me start today’s recipe post by apologizing to anyone who is of Norwegian ancestry or has ever eaten Norwegian food prepared by someone who knows what they are doing.
That said, I decided a few weeks ago to make Lefse.
If you’ve never had it, think of a crepe made with potatoes.
The whole reason I wanted to make Lefse came about because the romance novel I’m working on right now features a Norwegian mail-order bride. She is a great cook and makes several Norwegian dishes, including Lefse in the story.
I thought it might be a good hands-on experience to attempt to make it myself.
Those who actually know how to make Lefse and do it the proper way have some special tools they use.
I made do with what I had.
I also feel the need to apologize for losing most of the photos I took while I was making it. Apparently, the computer gremlins deleted the file because I can’t find it anywhere.
1 pound potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Peel potatoes and cut into large, somewhat uniform chunks (the uniformity is challenging for me). Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Over medium heat, bring the water and potatoes to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes or so. Drain potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Using a potato masher (or ricer if you have one), mash the potatoes as thoroughly as possible – get out all the lumps. Cut the butter into small chunks and work into the potatoes. Add cream and salt. Keep mixing until teh butter and cream are completely absorbed.
Cover and refrigerate over night (or up to three days).
When ready to make the lefse, mix the potatoes with one cup of flour. Keep working it from the crumbly stage until it comes together in a ball. Turn onto floured counter and knead a few times. Roll into a thick log then divide into about a dozen even portions.
Roll each portion between your palms to form a ball. Set aside and cover with a clean dishtowel.
Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet with just a little dab of butter on medium heat until a bead of water sizzles when flicked on the pan.
Roll one of the rounds of dough using a rolling pin dusted with flour. Roll the dough out into as thin a circle as possible. Flip the dough as you are rolling to keep it from sticking to the counter. Use more flour as needed on the counter and pin as needed.
When the lefse is as thin as you can get it, roll it onto the rolling pin (like transferring pie dough) and place it in the skillet. Cook for a minute or so on each side, until brown and lovely. Transfer to a plate and cover with another dish towel.
While one lefse is cooking, roll out the next.
You can eat lefse with jam, peanut butter, cinnamon and sugar, berries and whipped cream, whatever tickles your fancy.
She Who Liked Lefse