Pommes Anna
  • Complexity: Medium
  • Srv: 8
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • By: Oddfellows Café, Seattle

This is a recipe for which just a few ingredients--potatoes with butter and a bit of seasoning--come together to make something quite exquisite. The surface and edges of the potato slices become browned and crisp, while the interior is tender and almost creamy. At Oddfellows Café, the potatoes are weighed down with rice to ensure compact layers that cook evenly. You can use another skillet set inside as a weight; the results will also be good without a weight being used.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Chopped parsley, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut a piece of foil to cover the skillet and brush the center of it with some of the melted butter in the diameter of the skillet for covering the potatoes when baked.
  2. Peel the potatoes and use a mandolin or knife to thinly slice them.
  3. Brush the bottom of a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet generously with some of the melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of the salt. Using about one third of the potato slices, form a layer in the cold pan, starting in the center and overlapping the slices (note that this will be the top when turned out to serve, so it’s good to be extra tidy with this layer). After one layer is formed, brush the potatoes generously with butter and sprinkle with a bit of the salt and half of the thyme. Add another layer using half of the remaining potatoes, then brush the potatoes with butter and top with some of the salt and the remaining thyme. Use the remaining potatoes to form the final layer, then brush with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
  4. Set the pan over medium heat and cook until the bottom layer of potatoes is browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes, using a heatproof rubber spatula to carefully lift up an edge to peek at the progress. Take the skillet from the heat and cover with the foil, buttered-side down, pressed directly onto the potatoes. Top the foil with another ovenproof skillet as weight to rest directly on the potatoes as they cook. Put the skillet in the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes; to check, remove the skillet from the oven, remove the weight and foil and test the potatoes with the tip of a small knife, replacing the foil and weight if more time needed. When the potatoes are tender, remove the weight and foil and continue baking until the top has lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. (You can turn on the broiler for the last minute or two to help with browning.)
  5. While the potatoes are baking, stir together the crème fraiche, lemon zest, and chives in a small bowl.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, let sit for a couple of minutes before turning them out. Set a serving plate upside down on top of the skillet and holding the two together carefully with hot pads, turn them over together, then lift off the skillet. Cut the potatoes into wedges, arrange on individual plates, spoon crème fraiche over, and sprinkle with chives and parsley. Serve right away.