Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crème Fraîche and Herbs

January  9, 2010
3 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

While I have always been somewhat of a sweet potato addict, I prefer savory preparations to the traditional brown sugar and maple syrup concoctions typically found on the Thanksgiving table. I originally got the idea for these potatoes from Marcus Samuelsson, chef and co-owner of Aquavit in Manhattan. A few years ago, he teamed up with Slow Food to give cooking lessons to some of the students at The Children's Storefront, an independent tuition-free school in Harlem. I happened to be there observing one afternoon when he taught the kids his version of the recipe, and I have been making my own adaptation ever since. I hope you'll find the combination of sweet potatoes, crème fraîche, garlic, herbs and parmesan as rich and satisfying as I do. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with the milk, cream, thyme, bay leaf, garlic clove and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
  2. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid, and return them to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or a ricer. While the potatoes are still warm, stir in the butter, crème fraîche and parmesan cheese. At this point, stir in some of the cooking liquid—a little at a time—until you reach a good consistency. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Cover the potatoes and keep warm until you're ready to serve them. (If you are planning to reheat the potatoes, you can save the rest of the cooking liquid to prevent them from drying out.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dawn Wiggins Kaluzny
    Dawn Wiggins Kaluzny
  • erinrae
  • AntoniaJames
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs

7 Reviews

Dawn W. January 2, 2013
This is an incredible recipe! Thank you for sharing it!
erinrae December 9, 2011
This is great! I made it kind of last minute, so I had to sub milk and some half and half, sour cream for creme fraiche (gauche, I know), and left out the butter. Still fabulous! I also ran my fingers down the thyme to make sure it stayed in the potatoes separately before draining. Try it with dijon, olive oil, brown sugar, rosemary crusted salmon and garlic sauteed chard. Yum!
Merrill S. December 9, 2011
So glad you liked it. And just further proof that you can usually make do with whatever you have lying around!
sarah K. May 7, 2011
Oh sheesh! I was thinking it was some weekly ritual, like how some people have meatless Mondays. Sweet potatoes, for crying out loud! I'm imagining the possibilities: Tuesday, Twinkie day (come on! time for the twinkie day run!), Tanked day (gotta run off those two sangrias, the cosmo, and the peartini), etc.
AntoniaJames November 19, 2010
This is on my T-Day menu. I usually do something similar with winter squash, but the sweeter vegetable, plus the savory herbs and cheese make it utterly irresistible. Can these be prepared in advance and if so, what should I keep in mind? (We always go for a challenging hike/run on T-Day, so I'm out of the house for 5 or 6 hours and exhausted when I return, necessitating a bit more planning and advance prep than usual.) Thanks so much. ;o)
sarah K. May 7, 2011
What the heck is T-day? I'm so curious!
AntoniaJames May 7, 2011
Thanksgiving Day . . . I posted that comment in mid-November. ;o)