These fluffy pillows of butter Parmesan Herb Duchess Potatoes are a French twist on traditional mashed potatoes that are perfect for the holidays!
It's Day 4 of Thanksgiving Week! Woohoo! The menu is coming together, and I can't wait to have it again for the REAL turkey day next week. So far, we've made Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Cider Gravy, Roasted Sprouts and Squash with Warm Pomegranate Bacon Dressing, and Apple Cranberry Sauce. Before this week, I had posted Fresh Cranberry Cornbread Muffins for a bread option and Applepom Fizz for a beverage! You can easily access ALL of these recipes in one place on my THANKSGIVING page.
Today we are turning our focus onto a French classic that's a lot easier to make than you would think for French food: Duchess Potatoes! I learned to make these in my culinary school days at Le Cordon Bleu, and it was love at first bite! They are traditionally called Pommes Duchess and are essentially mashed potatoes with the addition of egg yolk for richness, color, and structure. When we want to be fancy about things, Duchess Potatoes are piped into little clouds of potato-ey goodness. But if the idea of piping sends you running for the hills, take heart! This lovely potato dish is often piled into a pretty casserole dish and fluffed on top with the tines of a fork. I've got options for both in the recipe below!
How to Make Duchess Potatoes
Watch this quick video tutorial below to see how I make the recipe:
Tips for Success in Making Duchess Potatoes
I've made this recipe 4 times over this fall season - twice for a dinner party and twice in preparation for this post - and there are a few helpful tips I've learned through the process:
- Use Yukon Gold Potatoes (aka all-purpose potatoes) - this particular type of potato is halfway between a waxy potato (red potatoes, new potatoes) and a starchy potato (Russet and Idaho), which gives it just the right amount of starch to be creamy but have structure at the same time.
- Start by boiling your potatoes in COLD, salted water - this helps to ensure that the potatoes have flavor (similar to pasta water) and that the outside doesn't cook faster than the inside. The goal is even cooking!
- Melt fat + flavor together - I'll never forget when my Chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu taught me to warm cream + whatever I wanted to flavor my potatoes with together in a saucepan. Fat is a vehicle for flavor, so warming your cream gently with butter, seasonings, herbs, etc. will marry the flavors together and ensure that it all gets evenly distributed when you fold it into the potatoes.
- A potato ricer or food mill is ESSENTIAL to the preparation of this dish - I know this because my potato ricer broke during making these potatoes for video production/photographing I needed for this post. Ricing the cooked potatoes while they are still hot is the best way to ensure your potato mixture is SMOOTH and silky, which will make them much easier to pipe and prevent them from being gummy!
- Slowly mix the cream into the egg yolks - this will prevent the yolks from cooking before they get mixed into the potatoes.
- These can be made ahead! Yep. Just scoop the potato mixture into your prepared piping bag, chill, and bring to room temperature before piping on the day you bake them.
Tools for Making this Recipe
Are you ready to get make these Parmesan Herb Duchess Potatoes? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
Parmesan Herb Duchess Potatoes
- 2 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in half (or similarly-sized pieces if some potatoes are smaller)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature and lightly beaten
- Olive oil
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 425℉ if baking potatoes right away. If piping, prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and fitting a pastry bag (or large freezer plastic bag) with a large star piping tip. If baking in a dish, prepare a large casserole dish by greasing thoroughly with cooking spray.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with cold water. Add two teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 18-22 minutes or until a paring knife easily slides through a potato.
- While the potatoes are cooking, combine the cream, butter, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs in a small saucepan. Melt them together over low heat and keep warm on the lowest heat setting for the burner until ready to use.
- When the potatoes are tender, drain them through a strainer. Use tongs to place 2-3 potatoes in a potato ricer and rice into a large mixing bowl. Repeat the process until all of the potatoes have passed through the ricer.
- Remove the herb sprigs from the saucepan of cream. Add the cream mixture to the egg yolks in a slow stream in 3 additions, whisking while adding the cream and between additions to incorporate.
- Using a rubber spatula, lightly fold the cream-egg mixture and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese into the warm riced potatoes.
- If preparing for baking the next day: place the potato mixture in the prepared baking dish or, if you plan to pipe, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the day of cooking and reserve the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan.
Final heating instructions:
- If baking in a casserole dish - set the dish out at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Fluff the top of the potatoes with the tines of a fork. Use a basting brush or olive oil spray bottle to lightly coat the top of the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan on top. Bake at 425℉ for 30-35 minutes until heated through and the top is lightly golden. Serve immediately or place in a warming drawer.
- If piping the potatoes - place the bowl of potatoes out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add about ⅓ of the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Use a circular motion to pipe a swirl of potatoes about 2’’ wide and high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat the process until all of the potato mixture has been piped. Spray or brush a little olive oil on each potato mound. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on the tops. Bake at 425℉ for 20-25 minutes until golden and slightly brown around the edges. Serve immediately or place in a warming drawer.
Pin this, pretty please!