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By Becky Pederson – I have fond memories of making lefse at my grandma’s house back in the early to mid-1950s. Grandma would gather wood to get her wood-burning cookstove really hot. On the top of her cookstove is where the lefse was fried. It was so good and to add to the goodness, Grandma churned her own butter. Oh, what delicious memories!
2 lbs dry, mealy potatoes – I use Russet Burbanks
3 tablespoons lard
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup half and half
1 cup flour
- Peel potatoes. Cook in lightly salted water until tender. Drain well and mash.
- Add lard, salt, sugar, and half and half. Mix well. Cool but do not cover while cooling, as the heat will produce steam causing the mixture to become watery. When the mixture is cool, force through a potato ricer. Work a cup of flour into the mixture.
- With your hands, form potato rolls on a flat, wax paper-covered surface. There will be two rolls about the size of a stick of salami.
- Cover a cutting board with wax paper and place the potato rolls on the board. Refrigerate overnight. When totally cool, cover loosely with wax paper.
- The next day, prepare your cloth-covered pastry board. Rub a cup of flour into the surface of the pastry board and also rub some flour into your stocking-covered rolling pin.
- Slice about an inch section from a potato roll. Have a dish with flour in it and lightly dust the one-inch potato roll with flour.
- Place section of potato roll in the center of the pastry board. Gently roll out into a circle. Use a lefse stick to remove rolled piece from pastry board to a griddle. Griddle should be set at 400 degrees F.
- Fry until brown spots appear on one side. Flip over and fry the other side. Remove piece to a dishtowel and cover with a second towel so the pieces steam to become soft.
When cool, store covered in refrigerator or wrap and freeze.
Lefse is so good with butter spread on it, sprinkled with sugar, and warmed a bit to melt it all together. Or you can go the traditional way and eat it with lutefisk. Either way, lefse is a great treat during the holidays or any time of the year. Enjoy!
Originally published in the November/December 2020 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.