Are you tired of plain old mashed potatoes? (no, nobody ever is) Bored of the same old roasted potato? (again, no) Well this thanksgiving why not try something new, pommes de terres fondantes! Thats right, the French have developed a new type of apple, a ground apple! These apples grow underground and are used for all sorts of delicious dishes. Try them boiled and mashed, or roasted. They are superb!
Ok, I am being informed that they are just potatoes. Oh well, I guess we can add cider to them still. This melting ground apple, (Thanks google translate!) or pommes de terres fondantes, is a succulent French classic of potatoes cooked in lots of butter or oil. Some chefs will even boil the potatoes in butter. This staple of French cuisine can be a bit intimidating for some, especially with shaping and not burning the butter. We on the other hand will try and simplify this recipe a bit and use cider instead.
Shaping the potatoes.
For fondant potatoes, you want to have flat edges on the potatoes to better fry them. You can tourne a potato, shaping it with seven even sides, but as many a culinary student will tell you, this can be near torturous. If you’ve worked at a vegetable station you might be a pro at this. If not, we can make it a bit simpler. The easiest way to do it would be to use a cookie cutter to shape the potatoes, then cutting off the ends to flatten the potatoes to provide a flat surface for frying. The amount of shaping needed is, for the most part, based on aesthetics. As long as you have some flat sides for frying you should be fine.
Finish in the Oven
This recipe starts off on the stove put will finish off in the oven. It is best to use an oven safe frying pan if you have one. It is usually just the handles that are not oven safe. You could transfer the potatoes, but it wont be as good. You can buy a good, oven safe frying pan for pretty cheap.
Cider Fondant Potatoes
A French classic, fondant potatoes, pommes fondant, are a tender and creamy potato enhanced with the sweetness of cider.
- 6 potatoes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (bashed)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 1/4 cup cider
- 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
Peel and shape your potatoes. Trim the longer sides to make flat ends. Heat butter and oil in frying pan, large and oven safe. When butter is hot, fry potatoes on both flat sides until dark golden, around 10 mins. Add garlic and thyme, adjust for tastes.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Pour enough cider and stock to go up the side of the potatoes. Simmer for about 20 mins. Flip potatoes and cook for another 20 mins. Top up with cider and stock if liquid evaporates. Transfer frying pan to oven and bake for 10 mins, or until cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Coming in December, I will be posting four new recipes using cider, one for winter, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years!
Want more apple recipes? Check out The Sober Apple!