The Pavé Method Is Your Key To Undeniably Crispy, Flaky Potatoes

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If you've ever bitten into creamy scalloped potatoes and wished they were crispy, we have a dish that will blow your mind. Potato pavé is a French side that combines the best qualities of slow-cooked spuds and crunchy fries. It is also a hefty undertaking, so it's a great two-day project for home cooks eager to take their mandoline for a spin.

Jewelry enthusiasts may have clocked the word pavé, which is French for cobblestone or pavement. The term is often used to refer to rows of diamonds, often along the band of a ring or in a small square charm, reminiscent of a paved street. Cooks use another buried treasure to create fancy fried squares comprised of layer upon layer of creamy compacted potato.


Potato Pavé an amazing dish made famous by Thomas Keller and this is how you make it, it is a lengthy process but the work time is fairly minimal it’s just a lot of waiting for stuff basically. Good things to come to people who wait don’t they, good food takes time etc etc etc. Peeled and very thinly sliced potato I used Maris piper. Basically you need enough to fill whatever mould you’re using. 300ml double/heavy cream 6 garlic cloves 6 sprigs fresh thyme Generous pinch of salt 1. It’s important to get the potato as thin as you can it’s should be almost see through, to achieve this really a mandolin is best. To create straight edges for the corners flip the potato round as you slice it. 2. I find seasoning the cream or is the most efficient way to flavour the pave and you need the flavour to be present through the layers. Infusing the cream with the garlic, herbs and salt over a low heat will achieve this. I like to infuse it for at least 1 hour to really impart the flavour. 3. Line your terrine mould or loaf tin with baking parchment and layer the potato ensuring you add cream to each layer, the salt is in there too remember so that’s seasoning the potato at the same time. 4. When the layers are complete top with another piece of parchment and press firmly with your hand. Then bake it at 160c/320f for 2 hours importantly the potato must be tender throughout or it needs longer. 5. Press the potato overnight in a fridge with something heavy. 6. The following day, trim and portion the terrine. Keep the trimmings and deep fry them as a snack, I like to cook the slices of pave in a hot pan with some oil to crisp it up don’t forget the edges! #reels #potato #potatoes #recipe #recipes

♬ original sound – Chef Thom Bateman

The method, which is often credited back to a recipe in chef Thomas Keller's "Ad Hoc at Home" cookbook, calls for two distinct cooks. First, you're instructed to bake a loaf pan of thinly layered potatoes coated in butter and milk. Then, the loaf gets compressed overnight before it's portioned into small rectangles. The pieces receive a final deep fry, transforming them into a flaky treat.

Amping up plain pavé potatoes

The approach is fairly straightforward if involved, but there are plenty of opportunities to infuse flavor or personalize the potato dish. Start with the dairy. Before embarking on the cook, you can warm the milk (or cream) and let it steep with savory herbs — like thyme or tarragon — or garlic. You'll then slice the potatoes — ideally with a mandoline, which can create paper-thin layers — directly into the dairy to prevent discoloration, giving your flavors plenty of time to mingle.

At the frying stage, take a moment to consider the fat itself. Rather than sticking with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable, you can imbue more of a savory richness by cooking the squares in chicken or duck fat. Or take this step in a different direction and crisp the potatoes in the oven after brushing them with plain or compound butter. Amplify your herbaceous elements by adding a sprig directly to the hot oil alongside your potatoes.

Once you've got the method down pat, you can even experiment with another type of potato or a different root vegetable. Pavé sweet potatoes, celery root, kohlrabi, and other starchy alternatives. For a visual and flavor contrast, take inspiration from a pumpkin potato gratin and mix and match with layers of different colorful veggies.

Serving the flaky potatoes

Because you can break up the process, this dish is a fun idea for cooks hoping to work ahead. The elegant layers and flaky texture fit in everywhere from intimate dinner parties to casual brunches. If you have time on your hands, but no one to feed, try freezing the sliced loaf to fry for another occasion.

As for serving it, you can let the golden potato bites speak for themselves, but we suggest gathering a handful of decadent toppings before you tuck in. Sprinkle them with chives and a dollop of sour cream for extra tang. Or embrace their luxurious quality and treat them like blinis by enhancing them with smoked salmon or a scoop of caviar.

Depending on how many you're serving, you may find yourself wishing for a second loaf (or three). To stretch the dish, slice the bake into smaller squares before frying to create finger food. Pared-down portions will have less of a rich interior and a more crispy exterior, but they'll be delicious nonetheless.