It is preferable to bake the potatoes rather than boil them so that they do not absorb any moisture during the cooking process. This allows more cream and butter to be absorbed, which results in a smoother and creamier potato purée. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Scrub the potatoes under cold running water and place on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 70–90 minutes until tender, depending on their size. Check the potatoes to ensure that they are cooked through by inserting the tip of a knife. Cut the cooked potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and discard the skins. Pass the potato through a drum sieve set over a large bowl. Bring the cream and milk to the boil and work it into the potato. Add the butter piece-by-piece until fully incorporated into the potato. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Garlic Potato Purée: Follow the recipe as described above and add two crushed garlic cloves to the milk and cream as it is brought to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes before passing the milk and cream through a fine sieve to remove the garlic before adding to the potatoes.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.