This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with her photographer friend Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, coauthored with Lee Brian Schrager, is America’s Best Breakfasts: Favorite Local Recipes From Coast to Coast.

I first came across pommes soufflées in a video I found on the Interwebs. In said moving picture, Martha Stewart introduces Jacques Pepin and Julia Child, who proceed to make quick work of slicing, frying, and puffing up snowy white slices of potato into pneumatic spud balloons that somehow stay crispy on the outside and slightly creamy on the inside — just the sort of contrast this disciple of Crispianity loves. I came across them again at Momofuku Ko in New York City and decided it was time to make them for myself. The process involves more than a bit of fastidiousness, vigilance, a high level of tolerance for delayed gratification, and an awareness that, unlike in most other areas of life, a 25 percent success rate is a mark of achievement. But they’re really fun to make, even if you fail miserably. I went ahead and piped mine with thick labneh yogurt and dusted them with za’atar, a spice blend I find endlessly versatile. Read ahead to find out more, and remember: If your pommes don’t pony up, you can always make cottage fries (seriously).