Published November 1, 2000.
The secrets of foolproof pommes Anna, the classic and elegant French potato cake, are to skip the clarified butter and use a nonstick skillet.
Traditional pommes Anna is rarely seen on home or restaurant menus these days because it takes an inordinately long time to compose, and it is hard to remove cleanly from the pan.
We wanted a foolproof, impressive pommes Anna for home cooks: A potato cake with a lovely crisp, deep brown, glassine crust belying the soft, creamy potato layers within.
Use a nonstick ovenproof skillet to insure easy release every time. Save time and energy by slicing the potatoes with the fine slicing disk on a food processor. Toss the sliced potatoes with melted whole butter to slow down discoloration. Arrange the potatoes in the skillet as it heats on the stovetop to accelerate cooking; once finished press the potatoes with the bottom of a cake pan to compact the potatoes into a cohesive cake. To unmold, invert onto a baking sheet and then slide onto a serving dish.list of recipes