L’il Pomme Anna
- 6-8 Tbsp. of butter
- 1 1/2 – 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh thyme
- Small clove garlic, minced (optional)
- A muffin tin
- A baking sheet
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and strip a good 2 or even 3 Tbsp. of Thyme into the melted butter. If you’ve opted for garlic, toss it in there as well.
- Slice your potatoes. (You can peel them if you’re up for it and want to be a perfectionist.) I sliced them lickety-split using a plastic mandoline that was given to me as a gift. It’s crazy cheap, but it works brilliantly. If you don’t have one, think seriously about getting one while you painstakingly slice your potatoes as thin as you can by hand (think potato chip thin). If you get desperate, dig up your vegetable peeler and try that.
- Toss the sliced potatoes into a bowl, drizzle half the herb butter mixture in, and season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Get down and dirty with your potatoes. Mix thoroughly to coat everything with the herb butter.
- You saved half of the herb butter so you could grease your muffin tin. Do so now. Generously. If you have a non-stick muffin tin, this is an excellent time to use it. You can try this with paper muffin cups if you want (I tried a few and wasn’t impressed), but if you’re generous with the butter you probably won’t have too much trouble with sticking.
- Lay a large piece of thyme in the center of each muffin-settin’ spot and start layering your potatoes in a roughly circular manner, building up a tower of potato slices that spires a little bit above the fill line. These potato towers will fall a bit as they cook, so give them a little extra height — just make sure they are as tight and compact as possible.
- Cover the muffin tin with aluminum foil and pop into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Might as well clean up the mess you’ve made while this cooks.
- After 30 minutes, carefully remove the foil. Using a cake spatula or a butter knife and tongs, carefully lift out each Anna, move it over to your baking sheet, and carefully turn it over so that the thyme leaf you initially placed on the bottom is now on the top. If you have leftover herb butter and aren’t counting calories, you could drizzle that on these potato stacks at this time. Oh-so-carefully slide the baking sheet back into the oven and crank up the heat to 450 degrees. (Don’t cover them this time; you want them to crisp up nice and good.)
- After about 15 minutes, your L’il Pomme Annas will probably be ready. You don’t want them to burn, but you do want some crispness on the top and sides. Once you remove them from the oven, you can serve them immediately or let them cool. They’ll be tasty whether they’re hot or cold.
- Makes 12 L’il Pomme Annas, but the cook can always claim to hungry guests that sadly, one of them fell on the floor. Which is why there’s only 11. Burp.