Pomme puree

Pomme puree is a type of mashed potato that has a much smoother texture than the normal mashed potato. The term itself is French for ‘mashed potato’.

What’s the difference between pomme puree and mashed potato?

While some consider pomme puree to simply be a ‘fancy fine dining’ way of saying mashed potato, the two are slightly different. The difference exists in both the ingredients and the resulting product. Mashed potatoes are generally made by mixing potatoes, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. After being boiled, the potatoes are mashed manually to break them apart. The resulting dish is a somewhat lumpy and rustic. On the other hand, pomme puree is usually made from potatoes, cream, butter, salt, and pepper. After boiling, the potatoes are generally pureed in a food processor to achieve a creamy, smooth consistency that is much ‘fluffier’ than mashed potato.  Neither dishes are superior, it is simply a matter of taste.

How do you make pomme puree?

If you’d like to add pomme puree to your culinary skillset, here is a great recipe to get you started. This pomme puree recipe comes from Joel Robuchon, a French chef who was dubbed ‘Chef of the Century’ in 1989. The chef is renowned for his pomme puree, which earned him Michelin stars and are on the menu of all his restaurants. If there’s ever a recipe to follow, this is it! This recipe has no cream but uses milk to smoothen out the potatoes into a soft puree.

Start with around 1kg of potatoes, Chef Robuton recommends Ratte or Yukon potatoes, 500g of butter diced into small cubes, 1/2 – 3/4 cups of milk, and salt to season. First scrub your potatoes clean and simmer them with the skins still on. Make sure potatoes are covered by at least 3cm of water. Salt the water with at least 10 grams per litre of water used in the pot. Let the potatoes simmer in your pot over moderate heat for around half an hour, or until you can cleanly penetrate through with a knife. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them and drain the water immediately.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat the milk and bring it to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once the milk has boiled, set it aside to cool. When the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled with your hands, peel them and cut into small pieces. Next, pass the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer and into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat them over a low heat for around 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to dry out. Slowly add the butter to the potatoes, using small amounts at a time until it is well mixed. Once the butter has emulsified and been incorporated into the potato mixture, slowly add the milk until your pomme puree reaches the desired consistency.

The amount of milk that should be added depends on many factors, so add a little at a time until you achieve the thickness you’re after. Keep stirring vigorously until all the milk has been properly mixed in. After that, stir your pomme puree with a whisk to allow air into the mixture – this ensures a nice, fluffy end result. Finally, pass your pomme puree through a fine drum sieve to smoothen it out even further. Repeat this process as many times as you need to until you achieve a silky smooth texture. The more you pass it through the sieve, the smoother the end result. Once you’re finished, taste your puree for seasoning and add any more salt or pepper if desired.

How to keep pomme puree warm

If you won’t be eating your pomme puree straight away, you can keep it warm by placing it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Make sure to whisk it every so often so it remains smooth. Before serving you can add more butter or milk as needed to return it to a silky smooth consistency.

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