The basic potato purée is made from peeled potatoes that have been cut into large pieces, boiled until tender in salted water, and then puréed. The method by which the potatoes are puréed is important to their quality. The hot potatoes are first passed through a sieve or food mill, and the crushed potatoes are then beaten with milk (or cream), salt, pepper, and sometimes freshly ground nutmeg. The beaten mixture is mounted with butter to lighten and enrich the purée. Because of the butter’s richness, the amount added will often be the signature flavor of the purée. Potatoes are never puréed in a food processor or other electric appliance, as the speed and heat turn the potatoes gluelike and starchy. Puréed potatoes can be served alone or used as the basis for a number of other dishes.