Recipe by R. L. Wallace
At half a stick of butter per serving, this recipe obviously isn't for everyone, but it makes sumptuous mashed potatoes, rich in flavor and velvety in texture. Since both the milk proteins and the starch in the potatoes tend to mask the butter taste, you really can't use much less; adding the unmelted butter last also preserves its freshness. And no, this isn't the most buttery recipe ever, not by a long shot: "Chez Maxim's" (1962) gives a version from the Paris restaurant with 50% more butter than this, a full 3 sticks for a pound and a half of potatoes!
- 1 1⁄2 lbs russet baking potatoes
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- scant 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 4 dashes cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, diced, at cool room temperature
Directions See How It's Made
- Peel and quarter the potatoes, and cook 25 minutes in a steamer. (Three or four large garlic cloves, peeled, can be steamed and pureed along with the potatoes.).
- If not yet ready to serve, it is better to leave the potatoes in the hot steamer, off heat, than to make the puree in advance and try to keep it warm.
- Just before serving, combine the cream and seasonings in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a full boil, so it reduces slightly. Off heat, puree the potatoes through a ricer or food mill directly into the hot cream, and stir together well with a rubber spatula. (The potatoes will seem too dry at this point, but the butter brings them to the right consistency.).
- Add the butter last, beating hard to produce a fluffy texture. Serve at once.