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Basic Pommes Puree Tips

Basic Pommes Puree = potato, salt, pepper, butter and some form of cream.

Pommes Puree is silky smooth and more rich than typical mashed potatoes. It usually has a higher ratio of fat and never contains skins in the final product.

Now, I know how to make great tasting Pommes Puree, but I want to know more about the science involved in making the perfect batch. Someone recently told me that by leaving the peel on the potato as it simmers, and then discarding it later, you will get more potato flavor in the end. Much to my surprise, it did taste more potato-ey this way. I enjoy learning little things that make simple foods better.

I always use Yukon Golds, hot whole milk, unsalted cold butter, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I don't have a food mill or ricer (and both of these don't make the mixture fine enough) so I'll either pass it through my tamis, or my chinois if I want it to be super smooth.

1. What type of potato do you use and why?
2. Do you use whole milk, heavy cream or a combination?
3. How much butter do you add and when do you add it? Is it cold and cubed, clarified, melted?
4. Do you remove the peel or leave the peel on while the potato is cooking?
5. Do you use a food mill, ricer, chinois, tamis or a standard mixer?
6. Do you simmer the potatoes in saltwater or bake them on a bed of salt?
7. Are there any tricks or methods you employ when making a perfect batch of basic pommes puree?

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