The Hasselback potato is without a doubt the most stunning spud to ever be called a side dish. It’s also like having all of your potato fantasies come true at once: these potatoes have the crispy edges of your favorite french fries, but the middles are as creamy as mashed potatoes — with the extra advantage of being healthful baked potatoes disguised as mashed potatoes.
We can thank the Swedes — and, in particular, the cooks at Restaurant Hasselbacken — for inventing this specific type of potato. They are also known as Accordion Potatoes or (my personal favorite) Pillbug Potatoes. This recipe yields a single baked potato sliced into small wedges but linked together at the bottom so that the layers spread out to form crispy rounds.
Begin with a few potatoes. Any potato will suffice. Yukon Golds are my favorite for this, but you can also use Russets, red potatoes, or even little new potatoes. Cut straight down into the potato, stopping just shy of cutting all the way through. To serve as a guide, place the potato on a big serving spoon. Make your slices as thick or thin as you wish – my knife skills average 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick slices.
The butter comes next. Or even the olive oil. Or any other fat or fat mixture you choose. I enjoy a combination of butter and olive oil for its richness and flavor, but I’m eager to test duck fat. You don’t need much just enough to spray the outside of the pan before baking, and then again halfway through.
The importance of the second application of fat cannot be overstated. When you initially slice the potatoes, the pieces are too close together for the butter to get down into the gaps. However, around halfway through cooking, the potatoes begin to fan out. Making use of a second coating provides crispy perfection while also getting some butter into those hard-to-reach places.
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking the accordion folds demand to be filled with shredded cheese and chopped herbs. Maybe some crumbled bacon, too. In fact, I can see a variety of beloved baked potato toppings making their way into this meal, don’t you?
Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and place them in a baking tray. My recipe below is for four potatoes, but you can easily double it for a larger gathering. Any supper, big or little, informal or sophisticated, in my opinion, can only be better by the addition of Hasselback potatoes.
(Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the bottom third. Clean the potatoes and pat them dry. Alternatively, the skins may be peeled off.)
Slit the potatoes lengthwise, keeping the bottom intact. Cut parallel slits into each potato, pausing just before cutting through to keep the slices together at the bottom. Slices should be 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch apart.
You may rest the potato in a big serving spoon (or on two wooden chopsticks) and use it as a reference for when to stop slicing – slice straight down and stop slicing when your knife reaches the edge of the spoon.
Brush half of the grease over the potatoes. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and place them in a baking tray. Brush half of the butter or other fat all over the potatoes, including the bottoms.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss the potatoes thoroughly.
Bake for 30 minutes before brushing with additional lard. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes at 350°F. The layers will begin to separate at this stage.
Remove the oven from the baking and brush the potatoes with the remaining grease. If the layers are still clinging together, nudge them apart. Allow some of the fat to trickle into the area between the slices.
- 4 big Yukon Gold, Reddish, or Red Bliss potatoes
- 4 Tabs Melted Butter
- Olive Oil
- Duck Fat
- Bacon Fat
- Coconut Oil
- a mix Salt Pepper
- Minced Fresh Herbs
- Grated Cheese
- Bread Crumbs
- Panko Crumbs
Spoon for serving large (optional)
Dish for baking
The skillet that is Oven-safe
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Preheat the oven to 425°F and place a rack in the bottom third.
- The potatoes should be washed and dried. Clean the potatoes and pat them dry. Alternatively, the skins may be peeled off.
- Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, but don’t remove the bottom. Make a series of parallel slits in each potato, stopping just short of cutting through to keep the slices together at the bottom of the potato. Slices should be 1/8-to-to-to-quarter-inch apart. If you place the potato on two wooden chopsticks or a big serving spoon, you may use it to gauge when to stop slicing. Slice straight down and stop slicing when your knife reaches the spoon’s edge.
- Use a pastry brush to apply half of the grease on the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a baking dish and bake for about an hour or until tender. Make sure to coat the bottoms of the potatoes with half the butter or other fat before cooking.
- Add a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Salt and pepper the potatoes to taste.
- After baking for 30 minutes, brush the top with more fat. For 30 minutes at 400 degrees, prepare the potatoes in the oven. The layers will begin to separate at this stage. Take out the oven, and spray the potatoes with a little more of the rendered fat. If the layers are still clinging together, gently nudge them apart. A little fat dripping between the slices is a good idea.
- Another 30 to 40 minutes of baking are required. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy on the edges and easily punctured with a paring knife. For those who have extras to include, insert them into the slots and then sprinkle them on top about 5 to 10 minutes before the meal is done. Baking time varies depending on the size of the potatoes, so plan appropriately if yours are tiny or huge.
- Prepare the food and serve it right away. To get the crispiest edges, remove the potatoes from the oven as soon as possible after baking.