Pommes Anna also known as Potatoes Anna is a classic French recipe that takes the humble potato into a league of its own.
Ultra-thin slices of potato, layered and brushed with garlic butter, sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves, dusted with grated parmesan, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The exterior of the Pommes Anna becomes all golden brown and crisp, while the centre potato slices absorb the glorious garlicky butter, thyme, and parmesan, and turns silky soft. What’s not to Love!
Check out our Indulgent Creamy Potato Bake for another great potato dish that’s perfect for a barbeque as it’s a little more rustic but equally delicious.
At a Glance, This Is What You Need To Make Pommes Anna
salt and fine white pepper
Is It Worth The Calories…… Yep!
There are some things in life that are just worth it. Worth the time. Worth the calories and definitely worth eating. Pommes Anna is worth making for everyday eating, an elegant dinner or just because you crave them.
Let’s Do The Prep
Pommes Anna Origins
Created in France by a well known 19th century chef, and apparently named after a famous Parisienne cocotte, named Anna. The original recipe is simply potatoes, butter, salt and pepper, but we love the extra flavour the garlic, thyme and parmesan brings to the party.
There are even traditional copper Pommes Anna pans, that sell for a small fortune in posh Parisienne cookware shops. Think we’ll put this on our birthday, or Christmas wish list!
If you don’t have a mandolin in your kitchen arsenal we strongly recommend you get yourself one. This very sharp slicing tool allows you to cut the potatoes uniformly and evenly.
You don’t have to spend a fortune, as an inexpensive plastic mandolin will do the job far quicker than a sharp knife. This tool was just made for making for quickly slicing the potatoes but a sharp knife will get the job done, albeit it a little slower.
What To Cook Pommes Anna In
Failing actually having a French copper Pommes Anna pan, the next best thing to make this in is a heavy cast iron frypan, but you could use a heavy non stick frypan.
You will also need a slightly smaller pan for pressing down the potatoes, which helps compress the cake and cook it evenly. We used a saucepan lid for the job.
You can also make individual Pommes Anna using a muffin tin, or individual ceramic soufflé’ dishes.
Only A Couple Of Minutes Now And It’s In The Oven
Which Potato To Use?
When it comes to potatoes they are not all created equal try to source a good starchy potato as they are perfect crisping on the outside and remaining soft and fluffy on the inside.
- red pontiacs
- Yukon golds
- maris peer
- any good starchy (floury) potato
Choosing The Right Potato
Start by selecting the best potato, no matter what variety you want. Potatoes should be firm to the touch with no cuts or bruises and definitely no sign of the skin turning green.
Why Does A Potato Turn Green?
Potatoes often turn green due to prolonged periods of light exposure, they should be stored in a cool dark area.
So you think to yourself it’s only a little bit of green, doesn’t matter…….Well actually it does, because that green colour is caused from chlorophyll which is what makes plants green. In this case it’s a warning that high levels of a toxin called glycoalkaloids are present and can be harmful to all the potato eaters out there and it will make your potatoes taste BITTER
So unless a potato only has a small amount of green present that can easily be cut away, discard the entire potato.
Make It In Advance
Pommes Anna can be made a day before serving. Let it cool completely then cover loosely with foil and refrigerate. To serve, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature, then reheat in a 180c (350f) oven for twenty minutes.
Watch How To Make Pommes Anna
What’s your favourite go-to potato recipe? We would love to hear from you in the comments below
Pommes Anna is incredibly easy to make. Perfect for serving with almost any meal you would serve potatoes with. Delicious and buttery, golden brown with a crispy exterior and silky soft potato inside. Whats not to like.
- 1 kg Pontiac potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly - we used a mandolin - (2 pound)
- 75g butter, melted - (2 1/2 ounces)
- 3 fat cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 20g parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 4 heaped tablespoons) - (3/4 ounce)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fine white pepper
- preheat oven to 230c (450f) on bake, not fan
- slice potatoes very thin, a mandolin makes very short work of slicing and also gives uniform slices, otherwise cut potatoes as thin as possible
- place slices in a clean tea towel and blot any excess moisture from them
- add garlic to butter and mix
- add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter in the bottom of a 22cm (8 1/2 inch) cast iron or a heavy based frypan
- brush sides and base with butter
- heat frypan over low-medium heat and when hot start to place potato slices overlapping around the outside edge of the base and work your way to the centre -see video above for technique, and notes below for a handy tip
- sprinkle lightly with parmesan, thyme and butter and season with salt and pepper lightly
- alternate potato slice layers from clockwise to counterclockwise on each layer - this step helps to stabilize each cut slice from falling apart
- keep building layers until you have used all of the potato slices
- brush top with butter (you may still have a little butter left in the pan)
- use a plate or saucepan lid that's slightly smaller than the frypan, to push potatoes down
- lightle spray a sheet of tinfoil with oil and cover pan then place on a rimmed baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven
- cook for 20 minutes
- remove pan from oven and remove and discard the foil, again use the plate or lid to gently press the potatoes again
- return pan to oven uncovered and bake for a further 30-35 minutes or until potato is golden brown
- remove from oven and gently pour off any excess butter
- run a spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen any sticky bits
- place serving plate over the frypan and quickly invert the plate to remove from the frypan
- serve and enjoy!
- even using a mandolin you'll still end up with little 'bits of slices', use the 'bits' to fill in the centre layers
Amount Per Serving Calories 264Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 30mgSodium 513mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 5g
Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.
This was delicious!! I used a cast iron skillet to make it and the bottom browned beautifully. For the last few minutes, I broiled the top a bit to get it a little browner. It came out of the pan easily and we all loved it.
Similar to au gratin potatoes, without all the heaviness of the thick cheese sauce. Next time I’ll try making it with caramelized onions. This is a keeper.
I’m so glad I found your website!! I was actually searching for an Apple dessert and saw your Apple Frangipane Tart…that’s next on my list!!
Hi Julie, we’re so pleased that you loved this recipe, we think its a little winner too. We’d love to hear from you when you make the apple frangipane tart. Thanks for commenting. Kind regards, Jo and Jen
I enjoyed the recipe and made it three times for a catering event. Something you may wish to include in your description before you wait down the pan with the aluminum foil would be to spray the pan with pan release. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing an entire layer because the potatoes bonded to the aluminum foil
Hello Elizabeth, we’ve not encountered a problem with the potatoes sticking to the foil but have added to lightly spray foil with oil for those who may encounter what you have. Thanks for the tip. Regards, Jo and Jen