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Claire’s Potato Fritters at the Gathering in TFC

Claire’s Potato Fritters at the Gathering in TFC

The Fiery Cross

“Abel, a charaid!” Jamie had paused to greet the last of the men from Drunkard’s Creek. “Will ye ha’ eaten yet the day?”

MacLennan had not brought his wife to the Gathering, and thus ate where luck took him. The crowd was dispersing around us, but he stood stolidly in place, holding the ends of a red flannel handkerchief pulled over his balding head against the spatter of rain. Probably hoping to cadge an invitation to breakfast, I thought cynically.

I eyed his stocky form, mentally estimating his possible consumption of eggs, parritch, and toasted bread against the dwindling supplies in our hampers. Not that simple shortage of food would stop any Highlander from offering hospitality— certainly not Jamie, who was inviting MacLennan to join us, even as I mentally divided eighteen eggs by nine people instead of eight. Not fried, then; made into fritters with grated potatoes, and I’d best borrow more coffee from Jocasta’s campsite on the way up the mountain.

We turned to go, and Jamie’s hand slid suddenly downward over my backside. I made an undignified sound , and Abel MacLennan turned round to gawk at me . I smiled brightly at him, resisting the urge to kick Jamie again, less discreetly.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 1 – Happy the Bride the Sun Shines On)

potato fritters bowl

For as long as I can remember, my very favourite breakfast in the whole wide world has been my Dad’s potato pancakes.

He got the recipe from my grandmother, who got it from her adopted mother, a German immigrant to Canada at the turn of the 19th Century.

Of course, over the generations, each cook adds their own little flair to a treasured family recipe. For example, the potato pancakes I ate from my Dad bear no resemblance to the ones my grandmother made for my dad when he was a boy. She used leftover cooked potatoes, mashed together with an egg and some flour to hold it all together.

My dad decided somewhere along the way that grated raw potatoes were superior (probably after satisfying a craving when there were no cooked potatoes ready in the fridge), but he kept the rest of the batter the same.

potato fritters bowl

And now it’s my turn to alter the family recipe. My change is simple — I added another egg and a little bit more flour to the batter, then fried them in a lot more oil than my dad used. That’s all it took to turn them from pancakes into fritters.

And since My Englishman prefers this new recipe, it looks like the change is permanent.

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Claire’s Potato Fritters at the Gathering in TFC

: Crunchy on the outside, soft and savoury in the middle. A quick, hot breakfast ready in under 20 minutes. Add a glass of fruit or vegetable juice to round it out nutritionally.

Serves 4 – about 12 fritters

  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 pound Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean – 2 medium
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Heat ½” of vegetable oil in a large, heavy pan over medium.

While the oil heats, grate the unpeeled potatoes and onion halves into a bowl. Add the flour, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.

When the oil is hot and shimmering (350° F), add rounded tablespoons of potato batter, frying 4 or 5 at a time. Fry until the bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes, then flip. When golden on the second side, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

Serve hot, with your choice of sour cream, applesauce, ketchup, or plain with another sprinkle of salt and pepper, which is how I like them.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)


  1. Bentje Ott
    January 12, 2015 at 5:09 am

    Here in Germany we call those “Kartoffelpuffer” and eat them with apple sauce

    • Rine
      January 12, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Or even with smoked salmon and horseradish 🙂 i love it!

    • Zuzana Cerovska
      December 24, 2015 at 4:38 am

      Here in Czech Republic we call those “bramboráky” and we add marjoram, cumin and sometimes garlic. 🙂

  2. Anna Lapping
    January 12, 2015 at 5:36 am

    As always, a good recipe and a good story to go with it. I’ll have to wait a bit to try it, though. We’re still watching carbs in order to keep to our weight loss goals. Just a few more pounds and these will be on the breakfast menu. Thank you.

  3. hockeyirene
    January 12, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Thank you so much for this straight-forward recipe for one of my favourite foods that I never think to make. Stimulus –> response. These will be perfect (Hear “pairfek”!) for cold and windy Edinburgh and Zurich!

    Your site is a delight – thank you for your enthusiasm and referenced recipes, from the simple to the complex. I appreciate your passion.

    In Peace, Irene

  4. Deborah Goode
    January 12, 2015 at 5:54 am

    My parents recipe is the same as your grandparents. But the grating is cheer genius.


  5. Theresa Goldman
    January 12, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Now this sounds very yummy…

  6. Joanne Platt
    January 12, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I love your recipe. My mom use to make them the way your dad’s grandmother made them. Heck I haven’t had these since I was a little girl. So guess what I am going to do. Yup, I have to make them now. Thank you for the recipe.


  7. thompsonpat
    January 12, 2015 at 9:35 am

    my german mom always made these from a mix! and i’ve been wanting to master the real thing. perfect time to try – made applesauce and have too many potato on hand – thanks as always 🙂

  8. Diana
    January 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Enjoyed the potato post especially I had just fixed the leftover mashed potato version for breakfast along with bacon and homemade chunky apple sauce. I just add a egg, some flour, lots of pepper to the cold leftover mash and fry up in the bacon grease. I refuse to think about the cholesterol or calories when enjoying this mini feast from my childhood!

  9. Amanda
    January 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    This looks like a delicious breakfast, indeed! Tell me, any recommendations on storing them after cooking? Do they freeze well?

    I know what I’m making in the morning!

    • Theresa
      January 12, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      I would make half a recipe rather than freeze. They won`t be the same when thawed.

  10. Liz Czepiel
    January 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    My mum used to make this recipe and I love them with sour cream. Thanks for the recipe I’ve been looking for!

  11. ms.yoshimi
    January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Teresa,

    I’m a bit flummoxed as I posted a comment yesterday about making 4 food items from the Outlander series for my women’s meeting on Monday night.

    My comment was to monitored and I felt it was innocuous that it would be posted.

    Is there something else I must do in order to hear from you?

    I love this blog. ms.yoshimi

    • Theresa
      January 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      Thank you for your comments. Your comment from yesterday has been approved, and is where you left it, on the Contact and Press page.

      I’m glad you and your friends enjoyed the recipes you prepared…which was my intended reply. It often takes me a few days to respond to comments, as I get many per day, I don’t get paid for any of this, and my goal is to HAVE A LIFE.

      Now you know my perspective on things.


    • ms.yoshimi
      January 16, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Thanks so much for replying. I am sorry if I offended you. I was just so excited and being very self centered.

      I really “get” your goal, Theresa! ms.yoshimi

  12. Carolyn
    January 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Apropos of absolutely nothing (except that I thought you might appreciate it). I’m trying out a receipe for “Caledonian Cream”. A frozen dessert with cottage cheese (or curds if you have them, but I don’t); orange marmalade; sugar; Scotch (or other type of unblended whiskey, but let’s be reasonable here); and lemon juice. Tastes not bad, but now I have to beat the bumps out of it.

  13. LoneRanger
    January 22, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Thanks Theresa for all these beautiful and “tasty” Highland dishes.
    Reading Dragonfly I come across the “Sausages and Mash Potatoes” soup, and Roasted Potatoes a’ la’ Lallybroch. Extraordinary here is that that meal was unknown to the Highland for those times, and it was Claire Fraser that suggested it.
    Back to the meal itself, even today I would find it delicious, would you have a recept for this meal?
    Thanks again Theresa for your beautiful work.

  14. Adina
    January 22, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I LOVE potato cakes. My mother made zucchini cakes when I was a kid. This was the only way to get me to eat zucchini (still is). Just swap the potatoes for shredded zucchini and serve topped with sour cream. I was thinking of trying a zucchini-potato cake…yum!

  15. thompsonpat
    January 24, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    so tonight for dinner – my husband was grilling steaks and i had some lovely veg and suddenly panicked realizing – oops no carbs. since husband is over 2 meters and under 200 american pounds, and had ridden 70 miles on his bike… no carbs was not an option. had my daughter google your recipe and voila. we had fritters by the time the meat “rested” Note- i did panic and add too much flour when it seemed ‘watery’ – which i won’t do again as the crisping in the oil really helps them stick together.

  16. thompsonpat
    January 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    oh – and they were yummy! thank you!

  17. Christine Wolf
    February 2, 2015 at 9:40 am

    This is exactly how my mother made them. I haven’t made them in a while but will probably will today since I was reminded of them. I sometimes make them for dinner as our starch.

  18. Leslie Diamond
    February 2, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Potato Latkes! Yum!! Love your recipes, Theresa …

  19. sylvie
    February 21, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Love fritters but my Mum uses to cook zucchini fritters and apple fritters. I’m gonna tell her about your potato
    fritters recipe because we’re potatoes big eaters at home and your fritters make me dreaming.

  20. Kathleen Heldenbrand
    March 14, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I make them with leftover mashed potatoes! YUM!

  21. Stephanie
    June 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    My grandparents combined the two. They used left over mashed potatoes with egg and flour then rolled them in raw grated potato before frying. Best of both!!!

    • Theresa
      June 28, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Oooh! That sounds great!

  22. Pauline
    December 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Thank you, Claire….. Can’t wait to try them. I love potato pancakes.

  23. Sharon Frankel
    December 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    These are what we know as potato latkes and have at Chanukah. I tried several no-fry versions but they were soggy, without the crispy edges I remembered from childhood. Thanks for inspiring me to try again, calories be damned!

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