[Historical Food Fortnightly is a year-long challenge series for those interested in historical foodways, or the study of how food, culture, and traditions have intersected throughout human history. Every fortnight a new themed challenge will be featured. As a participant, I take each challenge, select a relevant recipe, and prepare a historic dish. Please follow along, or join in yourself!]
I thought this was a funny little recipe – it’s called potato pancakes, but there’s no potato! I wonder if that was a misprint or if these are meant to be mock potato cakes. Interesting!
10. Breakfast Foods (May 6 – May 19) It’s simple – make a breakfast dish. Get creative, but make sure to provide your documentation for its place at the breakfast table!
(From The Negley Cook Book)
First I tried frying the pancakes, but unfortunately they stuck to the pan pretty badly. I’ve never been very confident making pancakes anyway, so I decided to try cooking them in the oven. Well, the oven ones turned out kind of gummy and pale. I decided to give both methods another go. This time I fried the pancakes in a lot more oil. The oven pancakes turned out about the same, but the 2nd batch of fried pancakes turned out much better.
The flavour is quite plain and since there’s not much to the pancakes themselves. They definitely need the topping. The batter could benefit from some vanilla or spices, I think.
The texture was quite wet, because of the grated apple. The maple syrup just made the pancakes even damper, so I suggest sugar over syrup.
Overall, these were simple to make and didn’t taste too bad. I didn’t have a problem finishing my plate, but I’m still not sure I’d make them again, however, as the apple taste wasn’t very strong and they were a bit wet.
- I used canola oil to fry.
The Negley Cook Book, 1898
Potato Pan-Cakes (1898)
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups apple, grated
butter and sugar, for topping
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Slowly whisk in the milk.
- Add the grated apple. Stir well to combine.
- Drop batter into a few centimeters of hot oil. Fry on both sides until golden brown.
- Let cooked pancakes drain on paper towels. Serve hot with butter and sugar.
Adapted from: The Negley Cook Book (1898)