This is a make-do recipe that I came up with after finding my pastry tube mysteriously gone. Since I couldn't pipe the potatoes as usual, I had to do something else. Voila, a very attractive side dish and easy to make.They are cooked as for a custard to make sure they do not dry out and they will puff much nicer with the moisture in the oven. I would also put in onion puree and perhaps minced chives for more color and flavor. Using a food processor to mix everything makes the whole process much easier and I like the consistency of the taters better. Since this is so basic, almost any savory seasoning can be used, depending on what your main course will be.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Put an oven rack in the middle position in the oven.
- Cool the potatoes just enough so they can be handled, but still very warm.
- Mash them well and push them through a fine chinois or sieve.
- Turn the mash out into a food processor, using the chopping blade.
- Scatter the chunked butter around on the potatoes.
- Process for about 5 minutes until the butter is completely incorporated.
- It helps if the taters are still quite hot.
- Scrape the sides of the processor bowl, return top.
- Turn processor on and add eggs, starting with the whole egg.
- Pour them in very slowly so they incorporate but do not cook.
- Process until the consistency is similar to a standard souffle mixture.
- Set mixture aside.
- Bring water to a boil on the stovetop.
- Butter ceramic ramekins and fill 3/4 full with potato mixture.
- Place the ramekins on a 9x13" baking pan, set this in the center of the oven, pour boiling water to within 1/2" of the top of the cups.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until tops have puffed and are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool slightly on a rack.
- Serve warm in the ramekins.
- Paprika or other seasoning can be sprinkled over the top of the mixture before baking.