Not a dessert, this crispy dish can be served at brunch or as a side dish at dinner. It goes nicely with freshly made applesauce and sausage.
Place potatoes in a pan, cover with cold water, and boil for 10 minutes. While still warm, peel and grate coarsely. Heat ¼ cup butter in bottom of heavy skillet until sizzling, but do not let it brown. Add half the potatoes, press down with a wide spatula, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add remaining potatoes. Press down again, forming a flat cake the size of the pan. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, frequently shaking with same motion you’d use to make popcorn, to keep mixture from sticking on the bottom. Press potatoes down with spatula again, cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Invert onto platter. Heat remaining ¼ cup butter in heavy skillet, add potato cake with brown side up, and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, shaking pan frequently. Press down with spatula, cover, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, shaking pan periodically to prevent sticking. If sticking does occur, gently loosen mixture with spatula. When done, remove to platter.