Pommes Anna With Gruyere Recipe: A Classic French Dish with Health Benefits and Pairings

Pommes Anna, a traditional French dish, dates back to the 19th century. Popularized in Paris, it was named after Anna Deslions, a famous courtesan. The dish features thinly sliced potatoes layered with clarified butter. Baked until golden and crispy, the presentation is both elegant and simple. It’s a staple in French cuisine, often served in fine dining restaurants.

Introduction of Gruyere

Gruyere, a Swiss cheese with a nutty flavor, enhances the richness of Pommes Anna. The addition of Gruyere modernizes the classic recipe while maintaining its sophistication. The cheese melts between potato layers, adding depth and creaminess. Its introduction gives a new dimension to the dish, making it a unique variation that’s appreciated worldwide.

Ingredients Needed for Pommes Anna With Gruyere

Key Ingredients and Their Roles

Pommes Anna with Gruyere relies on a few essential components to achieve its distinct flavor and texture. Here are the primary ingredients and their specific roles:

  • Potatoes: Use Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes for their starchy composition, which leads to a crispy exterior and tender interior.
  • Gruyere Cheese: Adds a nutty, creamy flavor that complements the potatoes. Slice or grate the cheese for easy layering.
  • Butter: Clarified butter is ideal as it eliminates milk solids, ensuring a golden and crisp finish. It also imparts a rich taste.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season the potatoes evenly to enhance their natural flavor and balance the richness of the Gruyere.
  • Thyme (optional): Incorporate fresh thyme for an earthy aroma that adds depth to the dish.

Substitutes and Variations

You can easily adapt Pommes Anna with Gruyere by using these substitutes and variations:

  • Cheese: Swap Gruyere for Emmental, Comte, or Parmesan if preferred. Each brings a unique flavor profile.
  • Butter: Use ghee or duck fat as an alternative to clarified butter, adding distinct richness.
  • Herbs: Replace thyme with rosemary or chives for a different aromatic twist.
  • Potatoes: Substitute Russet or Yukon Gold with sweet potatoes or purple potatoes for visual and flavor variety.

By experimenting with these substitutions, you can tailor Pommes Anna with Gruyere to your taste while maintaining its core appeal.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Preparing the Potatoes

Start by peeling 4-5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes. Thinly slice the potatoes to about 1/8 inch thickness using a mandoline for uniformity. This ensures even cooking and a consistent texture throughout the dish. Keep the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from browning. Pat dry with paper towels before layering.

Layering and Cooking Techniques

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Melt ½ cup of clarified butter in a small saucepan. In a 9-inch ovenproof skillet, brush the bottom with some melted butter. Arrange a single layer of potato slices in a circular pattern, overlapping slightly. Brush with more butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a thin layer of grated Gruyere cheese over the potatoes. Repeat the process, alternating layers of potatoes, butter, seasoning, and cheese until all ingredients are used, ending with a layer of potatoes.

Cover the skillet tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and the edges are crispy. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Use a spatula to loosen the edges and carefully invert the Pommes Anna onto a serving platter.

Serving Suggestions

Accompaniments and Pairings

Enhance Pommes Anna with Gruyere by serving it alongside complementary dishes. Grilled meats, such as steak or lamb chops, work well to balance the rich, cheesy potatoes. Roasted vegetables, like asparagus or Brussels sprouts, add a healthy contrast. For a lighter option, a mixed green salad with a tangy vinaigrette cuts through the richness. You can also serve Pommes Anna with Gruyere as a side for sophisticated brunches, pairing it with scrambled eggs or smoked salmon.

Presentation Tips

Focus on presentation to elevate Pommes Anna with Gruyere. Use a sharp knife to cut even, pie-like wedges for a neat appearance. Garnish each portion with fresh herbs, like parsley or chives, to add a pop of color. Serve on a warm platter to keep the potatoes from cooling too quickly. Consider placing a small bowl of crème fraîche or aioli nearby for guests to dollop on their slices. This not only complements the dish but also adds a touch of elegance to the presentation.

Nutritional Information

Health Benefits

Pommes Anna with Gruyere provides essential nutrients due to its key ingredients. Potatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, promoting immune health, muscle function, and digestion. Gruyere cheese offers high-quality protein and calcium, which support muscle maintenance and bone health. Clarified butter provides healthy fats necessary for energy and nutrient absorption. Although it’s a higher-calorie dish, portions can be adjusted to fit a balanced diet.

Considerations for Dietary Restrictions

Be mindful of dietary restrictions when serving Pommes Anna with Gruyere. It contains dairy and should be avoided by those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. Opt for lactose-free alternatives or vegan cheese for substitutions. For gluten-free diets, the dish is naturally suitable as it contains no gluten. Remember, portion control is key if monitoring caloric intake. Consult nutritional data for precise measurements and adjustments based on individual dietary needs.


Pommes Anna with Gruyere is more than just a side dish; it’s a culinary masterpiece that brings together the rich flavors of potatoes and Gruyere cheese. This classic French recipe offers a delightful combination of textures and tastes that can elevate any meal. Whether you’re serving it alongside grilled meats or enjoying it with a fresh salad, this dish promises to impress.

With its nutritional benefits and adaptable options for various dietary needs, Pommes Anna with Gruyere is a versatile addition to your cooking repertoire. Give it a try and experience the timeless elegance of French cuisine right in your own kitchen.

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