By French Tart on August 24, 2007
Photo by French Tart
Photo by French Tart
"In the recipe for "Potatoes Anna", I have always been unsure who "Anna" was. I now have the answer.......Browsing through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2; I found this historical note about Pommes Anna: "It was created during the era of Napoleon III and named, as were many culinary triumphs in those days, after one of the grandes cocottes of the period. Whether it was an Anna Deslions, an Anna Judic, or simply Anna Untel, she has also immortalized the special double baking dish itself, la cocotte a pommes Anna, which is still made and which you can still buy at a fancy price". Sounds like a mandatory piece of kitchenware for all dedicated chefs and cooks to me!! This simple recipe is all in the preparation and presentation, and the use of very, very thinly sliced potatoes, that's the key to success. Since the dish is inverted, it is important that the first layer of potatoes be attractively arranged. Select perfect slices, and overlap them carefully. It is best cooked in a copper or cast iron omelette pan. If you don't have an "omelette pan" which is ovenproof, use a deep pie plate. Keep in mind the final shape makes the presentation. A watercress or parsley garnish adds colour. Serve warm and cut into wedges, like a cake or quiche."
Serving Size: 1 (306 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 3
"Chef #642310 - not everyone in the Recipezaar community lives in North America, and because of this Recipezaar provides a handy measurement converter: http://www.recipezaar.com/library/calc.zsp which you can use to convert liquid, weight, temperature, and length measurements. French Tart states, in her recipe, that the oven should be pre-heated to 200 degrees C ("C" means Celcius). If you go to the measurement converter page you can use Recipezaar's tool to easily convert Celcius to Fahrenheit, and you will see that 200 degrees Celcius is equivalent to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, which you could then round up to 400, since I'm assuming your oven temperatures aren't calibrated to that fine a degree. Some ovens do not use either Celcius or Fahrenheit to measure temperature, but instead use the "gas #" measurement, which is why she provided that information as well."
"I have been making this dish for 20 years or so, having found it in my old Joy of Cooking. All credit to Anna! In J 0f C, the Rombauer sisters recommend sifting some summer savory over each layer of potatoes. I cannot concur ENOUGH with their suggestion. I also mince garlic and sprinkle it lightly between the layers--it roasts to almost a crunch. Here is the funny part: I've kind of struggled with this, since J of C had me using softened butter instead of melted. What happens is you use too much because it's hard to spread it all over without using more than the recipe calls for. Gilding the pomme. Don't. Melting is the simple solution I never thought of. My pommes have now gone from amazing to perfect! Thank you."
"WOW, WOW, WOW. This was totally excellent. I followed the recipe precisely and a bake time of 350 for about 50 minutes. The outside was slightly brown and the potatos were soft and silky. The flavor was totally delicious. I will be making this again, and also for guests. I may try some additions like rosemary, chives, or green onions to play around, but they are GREAT as is. Thank you French Tart for a classic recipe with directions that were well written!"
"Aboslutely delicious potatoes. Made as directed using a deep dish pie plate.
1 kg equals about 2-1/4 lbs. or 6 medium potatoes, 225g butter is about 1 cup, and 200 degrees Celsius is about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Yum."
"Please add what degree the oven is set at. I have no idea what 200c or gas 6 means. Sounds like a good recipe though."
"This is a classic potato recipe that is similar to what I called scalloped potatoes. I"ve never done this type of potato dish b/f w/o using milk. Actually it wasn't needed as there was plenty of butter for the potatoes to swim in. I also did a sprinkling of cheddar cheese over the final dish just until it melted. Buttery, potatoey goodness.:-) Made in honor of FT and all she meant and did for HolidayTag."
"A great find for me, this is elegant, brilliant and delicious. Except for seasonings, there are only two ingredients. The photos were a big help and the directions were just right."
"this is simple, delicious, and easy. mine didn't brown much at all but it's probably because i used a corning ware dish. i will try something else next time."
"Very nice recipe. Sometimes 'simply' is all that's needed. Mine didn't brown as much as I'd have liked, but I think that's probably because of the dish that I had used. I'll try this again very soon, and find a better container. Thanks FT for another wonderful recipe."
"Cannot be improved upon. These are the BEST potatoes, my DH's favorite, and he asks for them all the time. LOVE your recipes, French Tart...keep 'em coming!"
"Very simple and very good. I cannot imagine how you can improve on this classic dish. YUM! We are always eating potatoes made with French Tart's recipes. Thank you."
"Served this with Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce. Mine looked and tasted great but it really didn't hold together in a wedge when cut. Maybe I cut it while it was too hot. I still loved this for it's simplicity of ingredients. It's not often that you find a new way to cook something as basic as potatoes. Thanks for a great meal."
"You know those times you go into a restaurant and are served something that has such a pure, yet amazing taste, and you wish you could figure out how to duplicate such 'gourmet' cuisine? This is IT! In testing recipes for an upcoming dinner party, I tried 4 different potato dishes. And my cheese and garlic loving DH and friends preferred the simplistic, but "Wow" taste of this dish over any of the others! I used new potatoes and soaked them in ice water a bit before I cooked them. Absolutely stunning dish and presentation. Thank you so much FT!"
"Great dish. I alternated sweet potatoes with white potatoes. It was delicious. Thanks!"
"First time I have made a potato dish like this. I baked it in my cast iron skillet and everyone said I should have made two. Went very well with the prime rib. Thanks French Tart. Bullwinkle"
"This is the same recipe that I have been making for years. I got it from an international cookbook that I use very often. I use a glass pie plate, slice the potatoes so they are nearly transparent and sometimes a add a very small amount of rosemary or thyme between layers. Rosemary is my DH's favorite way! I think he asked me to marry him shortly after I made these for him the first time"
"Delicious. And pretty too ('tho not as pretty as your photo). I made half the recipe in a small, heavy pan. After it was done in the oven, and to make sure it was browned enough on the bottom (top), I put it on the stove top for 10 mins. on low heat. It was so good. And really very easy. Thanks Karen."
"Oh my goodness, this was so good! My DH and I devoured it and he asked me to make some more. I made 3 layers and baked it in my cast iron skillet. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, just the way I love potatoes! Thank you so much Karen, for posting the recipe on Zaar! YUM! Your picture was so pretty, I didn't take one. :lol:"
"I had originally passed this dish up because it appeared a bit too "fussy" with having to wash and dry the potatoes. After the class that was posted in the French forum, I decided to try it, and was so very happy I did. Actually, it's really not any more work than scalloped potatoes, and uses only a few ingredients - all which are on hand in any kitchen. No one would ever believe that these few simple ingredients would make such a spectacular dish!"
"I make (3) medium dishes for individual servings. I use non stick very small frying pans with curved sides, sprayed with olive oil. I turn the heat down a little. I don't want the handles to turn. You could use well greased custard cups also.The presentation makes it all worth it. If I have company coming for dinner I make a large dish and I get ohs and awes! Thanks for posting. Belive me it is worth the cutting or using a madeline slicer. I don't because of safety reasons but it is a good tool to use for this recipe.!"