Franklin’s Potatoes

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Appears in

The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

  • About

The mingling of bread sauce with potato purée may seem curious, but it works; it is, of course, especially good with a plump roast chicken.


  • lb (700 g) potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • A few cloves
  • ½ pint milk (275 ml)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
  • A little nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter


Boil or steam the potatoes and while they are cooking, prepare the bread sauce. Peel the onion and stick a few cloves into it. Put in a pan with the milk and the bay leaf, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for about 5 minutes. Remove the onion, add the breadcrumbs and transfer the sauce to a double boiler or bain-marie and cook over barely simmering water for about 20 minutes.

When the potatoes are cooked, dry them well, season and make a purée. Stir in the bread sauce, and finally the butter.

In his The English Hus-wife, published in 1615, Gervase Markham gave an account of a pie that comprised best pastry filled with artichoke bottoms, thickly sliced boiled potatoes with a topping of candied eringo-roots mixed with very thick slices of dates. The pie also contained beef marrow, spices, currants and raisins. After baking, the pie was filled with white wine, rosewater, cinnamon and vinegar.

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