Pommes Anna is truly a culinary marvel, being regarded as the supreme potato recipe of all time by the late, legendary French chef Julia Child.
Its extraordinarily simple ingredient list, consisting of only potatoes and butter, may seem a bit mysterious when it comes to how it made Child’s hall of fame, but the technique is key here.
In Child’s recipe, Yukon gold potatoes are thinly sliced into medallions and smothered in butter. In a skillet, they’re neatly arranged into overlapping circles to create a crispy golden potato cake that is both stunningly beautiful and irresistibly delicious.
If you want to try your hand at this dish but up the health factor a bit, an easy substitution is to use sweet potatoes instead.
Sweet Potato Versus White Potato
As with any humble spud, sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates. However, since they score slightly lower on the glycemic index (GI) scale than white potatoes, they will not spike blood sugar levels as much. That said, baking sweet potatoes will result in a higher GI than if they were boiled.
While all varieties are potatoes are high in various nutrients, sweet potatoes contain a much higher level of vitamin A. As a nutrient, vitamin A plays a crucial role in vision, growth, cell division, reproduction, and immunity.
But its health benefits don’t stop there. These sweet spuds also have more fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium than white potatoes.
How To Make Sweet Potato Pommes Anna
We like this recipe from EatingWell that combines three types of sweet potatoes, but you could certainly make this with simply one variety. Additionally, some of the butter has been subbed with olive oil to up the health factor. Fresh thyme is adding for a flavor boost but certainly could be left out.
- 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces purple sweet potatoes, peeled
- 12 ounces orange sweet potatoes, peeled
- 12 ounces white sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add the butter to a small bowl. Heat on high power for about 30 to 45 seconds until the butter is melted. Add the oil. Apply the mixture to the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cast-iron skillet with a pastry brush.
- Slice sweet potatoes thinly using a mandoline about 1/16 inch thick. Next, in the pan, arrange one-fourth of the potatoes in concentric circles, overlapping slices, and alternating colors. Starting at the center of the pan, layer the potato slices outward, covering the bottom. After, brush on some of the butter mixture and sprinkle each with thyme, salt, and pepper, to taste. Then repeat the process for another three layers.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.
- After 30 minutes, remove the foil. Bake uncovered for an additional 20-25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and crisp on the bottom.
- Once the Pommes Anna has been removed from the oven, gently invert it onto a serving platter. In the event that the sweet potato cake won’t come loose, try running a knife around the edges and using a spatula. Slice into wedges. Enjoy!
According to EatingWell, each serving has 140 calories and 7.9 grams of fat. A traditional serving of Pommes Anna will clock in around 235 calories and 11 grams of fat.