Lefse :: A Family Recipe

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Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas my family makes lefse. For anyone who doesn’t know what lefse is… I would describe it as similar to a tortilla, but made with potatoes and WAY yummier. That’s right, way yummier. I have been passed the lefse stick as some sort of odd culinary torch passing. Maybe it’s because no one else has the lefse flipping skills that I have (it’s all about the roll). Or maybe it’s because it takes so long to roll out and cook 20 lefse. I think I’ll go with the idea of being especially skilled.

Now, traditionally you eat these rolled up with butter and cinnamon. However, I personally like to roll them up with either turkey or ham and homemade cranberry sauce.

Lefse Recipe

–makes 20 lefse
(original recipe by an old Norwegian woman that is somehow related to my family)

You will need:
A potato ricer (looks like a giant garlic press)
A griddle
And hopefully a lefse stick… use a spatula if desperate, but a lefse stick really does make all the difference in the world… look online.
1 1/2 pounds of Russet Burbank potatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened completely
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Let’s Get Started!
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Place into a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer. Keep potatoes at a low simmer until a skewers lips in easily, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and allow to sit until cool enough to handle.
Put potatoes through a ricer. Beat in butter, cream, sugar, and salt. Refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

Add flour. Stir until well blended. Divide into 20 equal portions. Heat electric griddle to 400 degrees.
On a floured surface, roll out the balls of dough until very thin, making circles about 10-12″ in diameter. Using a lefse stick, transfer to the heated griddle and cook on each side. Stack between two terrycloth towels and cover with a plastic bag.

8 thoughts on “Lefse :: A Family Recipe

  1. I’ve made lefse all of my life since I could hold the stick. My grandma passed down my great grandmothers and my great aunts lefse griddles and she says once she’s gone (I hate when she says that) I’ll be getting her new one as well. They both work as good as her new one for being over 40 years old. Lefse is the best and I feel bad for anyone who hasn’t ever had any Lol. I’ll have to try your recipe, my recipe makes over 100 per batch lol

  2. Oh wow, a Norwegian recipe! Please, anybody out there can you help me with my Grandma’s recipe for something I can’t spell; I call it shapalke. Have no idea how to spell it. It’s eggs and flour ,lots of butter, scrambled, topped with cinnamon and sugar. So good; I am a child again. My card was passed to my daughter. That’s how good it is. But I seriously want conformation that someone else has heard of this and can tell me the real spelling!

  3. Your lefse looks lovely! It is a family tradition for us as well, passed down from my Norwegian grandmother. We make 200 at a time, with two of us rolling using 3 griddles. It is a lot of work to make it from scratch but it is totally worth it in flavor, isn’t it? It’s not a holiday without it! Today’s lefse is already buttered and rolled. We never use cinnamon.

    • We don’t use cinnamon either. My great-uncle swears the the PROPER way to eat lefse is butter and cinnamon. I like to alternately dip it in cranberry sauce and gravy. It’s hard to go wrong with lefse.

      • My Dad, the Norwegian, recently said the proper way is to lay a line of lutefisk down the middle, roll it up and eat it. I’m with you and the gravy dipping!

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