Pommes Purée (Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes) Recipe

A small dish filled with smooth and buttery pommes puree.
[Image: Vicky Wasik]

Ultra-creamy mashed potatoes are really more of a French thing than an American one, and if you want to be fancy, you can call them pommes purées. The goal with them is to get them ultra rich, yet not heavy or leaden. This requires some careful cooking to allow just enough starch to be released to give it the right texture, but not so much that it's gluey. The best way I've found to do this is to boil medium-waxy potatoes (like a Yukon Gold) just until tender enough to be poked through with a cake tester or paring knife with no resistance. Starting them in cold water helps them cook more evenly, as well as helping to strengthen some of their pectin, which keeps them from falling apart.

I tried several methods to puree the potatoes, including pressing through a drum sieve called a tamis (lots of work), throwing them straight in a stand mixer (they never get smooth), and using the food processor (really, really bad idea). The best and easiest method was to just pass them through a ricer, and then either whisk by hand or work them with the paddle of a stand mixer until smooth (if you want to go really crazy, you can pass them through a tamis after that).

After that, I finish them on the stovetop with hot cream and butter. If I'm not serving vegetarians, I also like to add a bit of chicken stock, which gives it an intensely savory quality (don't give away the secret).

These potatoes are remarkably different from American-style fluffy mashed potatoes, which are best made with powdery russets and must not be overworked, lest released potato starch turn the mash gluey. Here, a more dense and buttery texture is exactly what you're after—if they were any creamier, they'd be a sauce.

2:50

3 Ways to Make Delicious Mashed Potatoes in Advance

November 10, 2010

This recipe was originally developed by Kenji Lopez-Alt. It has since been edited and updated by Daniel Gritzer to include a method that works for those who don't have a stand mixer, and quantities have been reduced for a smaller yield. New photos have also been added.

Recipe Facts

Cook: 60 mins
Active: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 to 5 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (900g) skin-on Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick; 115g), cut into 1-tablespoon pieces

  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) heavy cream, plus more as needed

  • Up to 1/2 cup (120ml) homemade chicken stock or low sodium broth (optional)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender and offer no resistance when poked with a paring knife. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle.

    Whole Yukon Gold potatoes in a pot and covered with water.
  2. Carefully peel potatoes, transferring potatoes to a large bowl as you peel them.

    Peeling cooked Yukon Gold potatoes
  3. Pass potatoes through a ricer or food mill set over the now-empty pot or, optionally, the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (For the absolute smoothest texture, work the potatoes through a drum sieve before proceeding; this is entirely optional and not required unless you're in a very fancy French restaurant kitchen.)

    Riced Yukon Gold potatoes in a pot on the stovetop.
  4. If using the stand mixer, whip on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to high and whip until smooth, about 30 seconds longer; transfer whipped potatoes to now-empty pot and add butter, cream, and a generous sprinkling of salt. If skipping the stand mixer step, add butter to potatoes in pot along with the cream and salt.

    Potoes, cream, and butter in the pot before mixing, with a generous amount of salt sprinkled on top.
  5. Bring cream to a simmer, allowing butter to fully melt. Fold in hot cream and melted butter, stirring well to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For even creamier potatoes, or for more savory ones, add additional cream or the optional chicken stock, pouring it around the mass of potatoes and bringing to a simmer before folding in. Keep warm until ready to serve.

    Folding hot cream and melted butter into mashed potatoes.

Special equipment

Ricer or food mill; stand mixer with paddle attachment (optional)

Notes

This recipe can be doubled to serve a larger crowd.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
575 Calories
45g Fat
40g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 575
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 57%
Saturated Fat 28g 140%
Cholesterol 130mg 43%
Sodium 292mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 1044mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)