These duchess potatoes are a French classic of piped, pureed potatoes seasoned perfectly and baked until golden brown. A true dish of class & hospitality!
Every once in a while, there’s nothing like cooking a classy and classic dish. These duchess potatoes are just that and are perfect for everything from at-home soirees to Christmas dinner or your Thanksgiving feast. Creamy, full of flavor, and perfectly crispy on top, they are good to the last drop.
What are Duchess Potatoes?
Duchess potatoes, or pommes de terre duchesse, is a classic French potato dish of pureed mashed potatoes that are piped into pretty mounds and baked until golden brown. The standard ingredients for all great duchess potatoes include potatoes (of course!), heavy cream, unsalted butter, egg yolks, and salt. That said, some folks like to add a pinch of nutmeg or top them with fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, and rosemary.
How to Make French-Style Duchess Potatoes
Despite their fancy appearance, duchess potatoes are actually quite an easy side dish to pull together.
- Prepare Your Potatoes: Clean, chop, and boil the potatoes in a large pot over medium heat until they are fork-tender.
- Mash the Potatoes: Drain the potatoes and mash them in a bowl until smooth with a mixer, potato masher or potato ricer.
- Season the Potatoes: Stir in the butter, kosher salt, and heavy whipping cream into the mashed potatoes. Optionally, add in a little freshly cracked black pepper.
- Add in the Egg Yolks: Whisk the large egg yolks in slowly.
- Pipe the Potatoes: Stuff the mashed potatoes into a piping bag and pipe the potatoes onto a lined baking, leaving space between each mound.
- Melt the Butter: Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and gently brush the tops of the potatoes.
- Bake the Potatoes: Bake the potatoes at 425°F for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Enjoy!
5 Tips for the Most Elegant Duchess Potatoes
Making duchess potatoes requires a little technique and know-how. To nail it on your first try, follow these 5 pointers and you’ll be golden.
- Opt for Yukon gold potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are the best for duchess potatoes. They are creamy, buttery, and naturally a little sweet! In a pinch, you can use russet potatoes, but the outcome will be a little more starchy.
- Enlist the help of a potato ricer. A potato ricer will help you get perfect, lump-free mashed potatoes. If there are any lumps or pieces, they will get stuck as you are piping the potatoes, so make sure to mash well.
- Don’t skip the egg yolks. The egg yolks bind the potatoes and help keep their pretty shape after you pipe them. Don’t omit the egg yolks or your piped potatoes will spread as they bake.
- Avoid cooking the egg yolk. To avoid cooking egg yolk, give the potatoes a bit of time to cool down before adding them, and whisk them constantly as you add in egg yolks slowly.
- Use a 3/4-inch large star tip for your piping bag. To get those perfectly pretty tops, use a 3/4-inch large star tip such as the Wilton 1M tip. It’s the best size and will give you such a nice presentation.
- Pipe onto a lined baking sheet. To prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan, pipe them onto a baking dish lined with parchment paper. This will also make clean-up so much easier!
A dish as fancy as duchess potatoes deserves a fancy main dish. Serve them alongside an elegant protein like leg of lamb, beef tenderloin, or roasted stuffed duck. When it comes to veggie side dishes, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, sautéed mushrooms, and cheesy zucchini squash casserole immediately come to mind.
Storage Best Practices
While duchess potatoes are best eaten fresh out of the oven, you can store your leftovers a couple of different ways if need be.
- Refrigerator: To keep the potatoes on hand for up to 3 days, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will keep them from turning stale and drying out in the cold air.
- Freezer: You can also freeze your duchess potatoes for up to 3 months. To do so, allow them to cool down completely on the baking sheet. Once the baking sheet is no longer hot, pop the entire sheet into the freezer. When the potatoes are completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe plastic storage bag.
Reheating Tip: To reheat your potatoes, pop them back in the oven or an air fryer if you have one. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn – you only want them to warm through!
Why are they called duchess potatoes?
While no one knows exactly how or why duchess potatoes got their name, there is some folklore around the origin. Rumor has it that they were made when a British duchess visited France on a diplomatic trip and was served duchess potatoes as a show of hospitality. Thus, duchess potatoes were born.
Why do you add egg yolks to duchess potatoes?
You add egg yolks to duchess potatoes for a few reasons. The main reason is to help the piped potatoes keep their shape as they bake. Additionally, the eggs yolks add a wonderful creaminess to the potatoes and a rich, yellow color that makes for beautiful presentation.
How do you pipe duchess potatoes?
The best way to pipe duchess potatoes is with a typical piping bag. To get those perfect, scalloped tops, you’ll want to use a 3/4-inch piping tip.
Can you make duchess potatoes the day before?
It’s typically not a good idea to make duchess potatoes the day before. If you’d like to prep ahead, you can whip up the potato mixture the day before and pipe and bake them the next day. Part of their appeal is the crispy, fresh-out-of-oven crust that forms on top.
How do you keep your duchess potatoes from getting gummy?
You keep your duchess potatoes from getting gummy by avoiding overcooking the potatoes. The longer they boil in the water after they are fork-tender, the more gummy and gritty the potatoes get.
More Tasty Potato Recipes
- Oven-Roasted Potatoes – 3-ingredient roasted potatoes
- Ranch Roasted Potatoes – Zesty, 3-ingredient roasted potatoes
- New Potatoes with Bacon & Herbs – Whole baby potatoes with dill and salty bacon
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes – Classic mashed potatoes
- Scalloped Potatoes – Cheesy, creamy perfection
- Clean your potatoes and cut them into four pieces. Place them into a pot of boiling water and cook them until they are fork tender.
- Drain the water from the potatoes. Mash them until they are perfectly smooth. Add butter, salt, and heavy whipping cream to the mashed potatoes. Mash to combine. Whisk the egg yolks. Add them slowly into the potatoes, stirring constantly until combined.
- Place the mashed potatoes into a piping bag. Make sure there aren't any large pieces or lumps otherwise they will get stuck as you are piping. Pipe the potatoes onto a lined baking sheet, about 2-3 inches in size. Leave about an inch of space between each potato mound.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and gently brush the tops of the potatoes with it.
- Bake the potatoes at 425°F for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Enjoy!