Flaky, melt-in-your-mouth potato knishes despite the shortcuts that cut the recipe time in half. A great appetizer or side. Don’t count on leftovers!
Potato knishes are a Jewish classic. They are essentially little bites of mashed potatoes wrapped in a dough and baked to a golden brown. My grandmother, born in 1895, made them for special occasions and I loved them. One day, in the early 70’s when I was in university, I had a craving for potato knishes, so I called my grandmother and asked her how to make them. I braced for the labour-intensive instructions for this coveted recipe…
“Ok, says Bubbie. First, you buy [Gainsborough] puff pastry dough”.
“Seriously?”, I asked? “Your famous knishes are made with bought pastry dough?”
“Yes, says Bubbie, and then you buy instant mashed potatoes”.
[shocked silence]. “Instant? you use instant potatoes?” I asked.
“Yes, says Bubbie. And make sure you add some Lipton onion soup mix from the package to give it some good flavour”
OMG. Did my Bubbie over-embrace the new age? But I couldn’t argue with those super delicious, flaky, flavourful knishes, could I? To this day, I re-create my grandmother’s knishes, but I now use real potatoes (which, by the way, are easy to buy if you’re so inclined). The rest of the recipe is pretty much the same. Why change what’s great? And why spend two hours making knishes when one will do? Nowadays, you don’t even have to roll the dough – it comes in sheets.
So try ’em, you’ll like ’em! They are simply my Bubbie’s delicious knishes. Appetizer or side dish.
- You can make the knish rolls up to a month ahead and freeze them, wrapped well in parchment and foil. Bake as per instructions whenever you need them (no need to defrost).
- Make the knishes a couple of hours before you need them, including cutting them into serving pieces. Reheat in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes. (TIP: I do this all the time – they get crispier/flakier this way.)
Feel free to experiment with the filling. For example, you can use a creamed spinach filling with a bit of nutmeg; a mushroom and onion filling with a bit of sherry; or mix in some sauteed hamburger meat with the potatoes for a heartier knish.
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