Mashed potatoes are one of the simplest of side dishes but much can go wrong, leaving you with a gummy, lumpy or heavy texture. However, this foolproof pomme puree recipe results in ultra silky and light mashed potatoes every single time. With the easy technique, you'll get light, lump-free, creamy mashed potatoes without the need for any heavy cream!
What is the difference between potato puree and mashed potato?
Pomme puree is the French term for mashed potatoes, but pommes puree is typically lighter and silkier than mashed potatoes (which are usually thicker and denser). However, the terms can be used interchangeably. This puree has a rich, pure potato flavor that’s enhanced by (rather than suppressed by) butter and milk.
- For the best flavor and texture, use Yukon Gold potatoes, which have medium moisture with a golden, buttery-tasting flesh.
- The potatoes get richness and creaminess from a mix of butter and milk. I prefer the flavor of whole milk, but you can use 2% milk for a lighter mash (I don't recommend using 1% or skim milk). For additional richness you can use half-and-half instead.
- For a subtle garlic flavor, add whole garlic cloves to the cooking water with the potatoes (it's optional).
How do you make mashed potatoes without lumps?
The secret to making creamy and light mashed potatoes is a potato ricer. You might be thinking, “not another tool for my kitchen!” but trust me here. I’m as anti-gadget as they come, but a potato ricer is a revered tool in my kitchen. It breaks down cooked potatoes into little rice-sized squiggles, which, once stirred, turn instantly smooth without the need for pounds of butter or cream. It’s cheap, it doesn’t take up much space, and, if you like playing with playdough (come on, I know you do!), you’re going to have a blast with this tool.
How to make this pomme puree recipe:
- Peel Yukon Gold potatoes and cut them into 2-inch chunks.
- Cover the potatoes with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Cook until tender—they should have no resistance when you spear them with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes well, then pass them through a potato ricer back into the pot.
- Add cubes of butter and stir until mostly melted.
- Stir in milk.
- Place the pot back over medium-low heat and cook until warmed through.
- Serve the potatoes on their own or with more butter on top.
This pomme puree has a rich, buttery flavor that pairs perfectly with just about anything. Serve it alongside roasted meats or vegetables, under stews and braises, or slather it over a shepherd's pie. The recipe is featured in my book, Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker, where it's served with an Asian inspired pot roast. It's one of my favorite meals ever.
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To make garlic mashed potatoes, add a 2 cloves of garlic to the cooking water with the potatoes (pass the cloves through the ricer right along with the potatoes). You can also stir other add-ins into the finished mashed potatoes, such as caramelized onions, fresh herbs (think chives, rosemary and/or thyme), parmesan cheese, bacon or horseradish.
Pomme puree is a French term that means mashed potatoes.
Yes! Scrape the puree into a heatproof bowl, drizzle some milk over top, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water), and let it sit while you go about your business or finish up the rest of the meal. Have no fear, the best part of dinner is already done.
For the best flavor and texture, go for Yukon Gold potatoes. They have medium moisture with a golden, buttery-tasting flesh. Russets have low moisture and high starch with a dry texture that requires a ton of butter and milk or cream to turn smooth, whereas red potatoes have high moisture with less starch so tend to get gummy.
There's no need to soak potatoes before boiling them for mashed potatoes. However, if you wish to peel them ahead of time, store the peeled, chopped potatoes in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before cooking (storing the potatoes in water will prevent them from browning).
Other holiday recipes to try:
- Easy Sweet Potato Souffle Bake
- BEST Cornbread Stuffing
- Stuffed Honeynut Squash
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms with Fried Shallots
- The BEST Easy Cranberry Sauce
- Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Wedges
- See all my Holiday Recipes!
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Pomme Puree (The Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes)
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more to taste
- 1 -2 cups whole milk, plus more to taste
- Put the potatoes and garlic (if using) in a medium saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a fork, about 10-15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, shaking out any excess water. Immediately pass the potatoes and garlic through a ricer (in batches) back into the saucepan.
- Add the butter, and stir until mostly melted. Stir in 1 cup of milk. If desired, add more milk until you reach the thickness you like. Season with salt to taste (be generous—it makes all the difference!). Put the saucepan back over medium heat and cook until warmed through.
- Transfer the pomme puree to a serving bowl or to plates. If you’d like, top with another pat of butter. Serve warm.
- I prefer the flavor of whole milk in these mashed potatoes, but you can use 2% milk for a lighter mash (I don't recommend using 1% or skim milk). For additional richness you can use half-and-half instead.
- If you're adding other flavorings, such as roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, bacon, sour cream, or chives, fold them in after you add the milk.