cooking

Duchess Potatoes – simple and tasty side dish

First of all, I am not the world’s biggest mashed potatoes fan. There, I said it. I do eat them but I prefer any other potato dish over mashed. But I do make them every so often, and I’m usually left with leftovers. How to give your mashed potatoes leftovers a delicious, second life? Bake Duchess Potatoes. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Duchess potatoes are simple to make. You just need some mashed potatoes and few other ingredients. The origin of Duchess Potatoes is French, but the story of how they came to be is relatively unknown. They are thought to have been made for a British duchess who visited France. I thought they were British when I first heard of them.

Duchess Potatoes recipe is an elegant potato recipe that is perfect for the holidays. They can even be made ahead of time and frozen to save you time on the day of your dinner party! That’s how I do it, I make them when I feel inspired and motivated, freeze them and bake when I need them. Time saver!

Duchess potatoes are basically a fancy mashed potato mixed with egg yolks and then piped into beautiful swirls and baked to give them a slightly crisp outside and a light, fluffy inside.  Here’s the thing about duchess potatoes, they taste great!

I think it might have something to do with the butter. And the cream. And the way that both the tops and bottoms get browned. They’re actually rather addictive. Usually I hate “piping” but making these pretty little potatoes isn’t so bad, assuming you have a piping bag and a large star tip.

If not, you can pipe them into florets using the cut corner of a freezer bag. Or just skip the piping all together and spread the mashed potatoes into a casserole dish, create peaks on the surface with the tines of a fork, and bake.

You can easily scale up this recipe. To make ahead for a dinner party, just prepare the mashed potatoes, pipe them and refrigerate. Put them in a 425°F/220°C oven 20 minutes before serving to brown.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds/1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt
  • 3 egg yolks

Preparation:

1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a saucepan and add water to cover the potatoes. Place on the stovetop over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.

3. Drain the potatoes and place them in the bowl. Add the butter. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed and creamy (be careful not to overmix or they will get glue-like).

4. Add the egg yolks, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix until just combined. Let sit for 30 minutes to cool.

5. Prepare a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

6. Once the potatoes are cool, place them in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the potatoes into 3 inch circles, swirling the piping bag to create a mound of potatoes. Alternatively, you can just fill a casserole dish with the mashed potatoes, and use a fork to create lots of peaks on the surface.

7. Brush with melted butter or you can mix whole egg with milk and gently brush egg wash over potatoes. (be careful not to use too much egg wash, you do not want it to drip down the sides and pool around the potatoes).

8. Bake in the 425°F/ 220°C oven until nicely browned, about 20-30minutes.

Extra tips:

  • Do not overmix the eggs and potatoes. It’s important not to overmix the mashed potatoes once you add the eggs. I know it’s tempting to ensure that the eggs are super incorporated, but just barely mixing them in is sufficient. 
  • Only use egg yolks when mixing the potatoes. They add so much creaminess and will give the potatoes an irresistible flavor. Not to mention that the yolks will give the mashed potatoes a vibrant yellow color and make them richer too. 
  • Use room temperature ingredients. The heavy cream, egg yolks, and butter will work much better when they are at room temp. If they are cold, they won’t incorporate into the potatoes. 
  • Mash the potatoes well. Since you’ll be piping these potatoes to get that beautiful shape you’ll need the mixture to be completely smooth. Lumps can clog the tip and make it difficult to pipe. You can use a handheld potato masher or even a mixer to make sure they are whipped. Do this before adding the eggs, though. 
  • Use peeled potatoes. While many recipes allow you to leave the skins on mashed potatoes, duchess potatoes need to be completely smooth so no peels allowed!
  • Watch out for the gummy potatoes. The secret to keeping them from getting gummy is to keep the potatoes hot while you mash them. Work fast! If you think you’ll need to work them for a bit, gently heat the cream and butter together and add them hot–this’ll keep the temperature from dropping. 

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