Mashed Potatoes With Crème Fraîche

These mashed potatoes with crème fraîche are a French staple, and for good reason. They’re luxuriously rich and creamy with a subtle tang from the crème fraîche. Basically, comfort food perfected.

A copper pot filled with mashed potatoes with crème fraîche and a masher resting inside.

Purée (mashed potatoes) accompanies a French eater all of his or her life, from the very first moment solid food is introduced. Because, as the French know, there is nothing better than the potato when it’s mashed and softened like this! This recipe is so flavorful that you’ll make it all the time, serving it alongside some dishes, incorporating it into others.–Susan Herrmann Loomis

How do I keep my mashed potatoes from turning gluey?

Don’t use waxy potatoes and never puree the potatoes in a food processor with the knife blade. Mash potatoes by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mashed Potatoes With Crème Fraîche

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
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In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with 1 inch (25 mm) water. Add the bay leaf and a scant teaspoon of coarse salt.

Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil  and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Tester tip: Always save some of the potato cooking water, in case you need to loosen your mashed potatoes once the butter and cream are incorporated.

Return the potatoes to the saucepan and mash them with a potato masher or fork until they are crushed.

Add the butter and crème fraîche and mash these into the potatoes until they are smooth, adding reserved cooking liquid as needed. There may be a few chunks, which is fine unless you want a completely silken puree, in which case you want to keep mashing and then finish up with a large balloon whisk.

Season the puree with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Serve immediately. (If you have leftovers, they reheat perfectly if you do so very gently over low heat.)

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is an easy solid mashed potato recipe. The creme fraiche adds a nice tangy flavor that is different from a normal sour cream or heavy cream addition. I also liked the addition of the potato cooking water.

I did not do the whisk step. I mashed them by hand and it is nice that this recipe can be done with no special equipment BUT I think a lot of work could be taken out of this recipe by using a ricer. I love mine; it's literally one of my most prized kitchen items.

Really? You need a recipe for mashed potatoes? Oh. Yes. You. Do. Don’t be skimping though...this recipe is so easy and so quick and so creamy delicious. Use the crème fraîche. Freshly grind the pepper. Freshly grind the nutmeg.

I used white pepper as it’s my favorite in mashed potatoes. I grow bay leaves in a pot in my kitchen, so I always have fresh bay leaves but I’m sure dried would also provide that “quasi forest” hint on your palate that matched so well with the lightly floral nutmeg and the slightly tangy taste of the crème fraîche. A potato ricer is my go-to tool for fluffy potatoes but the potato masher is much more user friendly on the hands. I used the potato masher and still had a light and fluffy mash. There were no leftovers but the smears inside the empty pot were still soft after dinner.

The greatest evidence of the success of this recipe was when I asked my family of four if they were ready for dessert and they responded “are you making more mashed potatoes?!”


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