Potato purée is an important product in most kitchens, even though it is not served as is. It is the basis of many popular preparations, including mashed or whipped potatoes, duchesse potatoes, and potato croquettes. (Please note that this usage of the term is different from classic European usage, where purée de pommes de terre indicates mashed or whipped potatoes.)
Starchy potatoes are usually used for purées. The flesh of starchy potatoes breaks apart easily and can absorb large quantities of butter, milk, and other enriching ingredients. Moderately waxy potatoes can also be puréed. The flesh doesn’t break apart as easily, however, so they are harder to purée. Also, they don’t absorb as much fat or liquid.
Avoid excessive mixing of potato purée. Too much whipping or mixing damages cell walls, releasing excess starch that makes the purée gluey in texture.
Following is the basic procedure for making potato purées.