Potato Fritters from The Fiery Cross by Outlander author Diana Gabaldon

Claire's Potato Fritters at the Gathering in TFC

“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.

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.

Show/Hide Comments


22 Jan 2015 - 2:47pm


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.

22 Jan 2015 - 6:14pm


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!

02 Feb 2015 - 5:40pm

Christine Wolf

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.

12 Jan 2015 - 1:09pm

Bentje Ott

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

Zuzana Cerovska

Here in Czech Republic we call those "bramborky" and we add marjoram, cumin and sometimes garlic. :)

12 Jan 2015 - 1:36pm

Anna Lapping

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.

12 Jan 2015 - 1:43pm


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

12 Jan 2015 - 1:54pm

Deborah Goode

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

12 Jan 2015 - 4:17pm

Theresa Goldman

Now this sounds very yummy...

12 Jan 2015 - 4:56pm

Joanne Platt

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. Thanks, Joanne Idaho

12 Jan 2015 - 5:35pm


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 :)

12 Jan 2015 - 5:38pm


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!

12 Jan 2015 - 8:53pm


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!


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

13 Jan 2015 - 7:38am

Liz Czepiel

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

14 Jan 2015 - 9:47pm


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


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


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

18 Jan 2015 - 12:53am


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.

25 Jan 2015 - 2:51am


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.

25 Jan 2015 - 2:52am


oh - and they were yummy! thank you!

02 Feb 2015 - 6:47pm

Leslie Diamond

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

21 Feb 2015 - 4:02pm


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

14 Mar 2015 - 3:48pm

Kathleen Heldenbrand

I make them with leftover mashed potatoes! YUM!

27 Jun 2015 - 7:52pm


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!!!

23 Dec 2015 - 5:43pm


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

24 Dec 2015 - 4:40am

Sharon Frankel

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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