Hasselback Potatoes - pretty and tasty enough to serve guests but easy enough to make, mid-week, as part of a family meal.
What are Hasselback Potatoes?
Hasselback potatoes got their name from the Swedish restaurant, Hasselbacken, where they were invented. As the potatoes gained in popularity, around the world, they became known as Hasselback potatoes.
Also known as "Accordion Potatoes" or, as my boys like to call them, "Hedgehog Potatoes" they are a cross between a baked potato, roast potato and a fried one. The slices increase the exposed surface area, resulting in more crispy bits but still allowing for the interior to be comfortingly soft. They really do have a lot to offer in both taste and texture.
Why Hasselback Potatoes are Great for Kids
- Fun: Kids generally love food in fun shapes and these "hedgehogs" are perfect for creating a little drama at the table. Increase the fun factor by adding a couple of eyes!
- Easy to Prepare: Hasselback potatoes may look like they take a lot of time but they are actually very easy and quick to prepare, perfect for busy parents.
- Stepping Stone for Fussier Eaters: If your child loves potato chips but dislikes potatoes then these may be the perfect vehicle for your child to accept potatoes in other ways.
- Nutrition: Potatoes are packed with dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. They contain potassium, iron, fibre, vitamin c, folate, are a good source of carbohydrates.
Hasselback Potatoes Ingredients
To make perfect Hasselback potatoes you will need
- Potatoes: You can technically make Hasselback potatoes with any potato but the end result will differ in texture. Personally I prefer Hasselbacks that have crispy edges with a softer inside and for this, you need a starchier potato. Starchy or all-purpose potatoes work well. In the USA Yukon Gold or Russets are a good choice and in the UK Maris Pipers will work well. I have found that the potato selection is not as large in Australia, and the variety isn't always detailed, I just picked up a bag of All-Rounders.
- Fat: I prefer the flavour of olive oil but butter or goose fat also work well. You can even use a combination.
- Herbs / Spices / Flavour: Our preferred way to flavour Hasselbacks is by infusing the oil with some fresh rosemary. Smoked paprika is also a favourite and garlic is always good. Towards the end of cooking, you may choose to stuff them with cheese, bacon or parma ham. Get as creative as you want! Of course, for kids who aren't big on stronger flavours, you can just leave them unflavoured.
How To Bake Hasselback Potatoes
- Heat oven to 220c / 425F: Make sure your oven is pre-heated, before you add the potatoes, to help make them super crispy.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper to make sure your potatoes don't stick and to help to make the clean up easier 🙂
- Slice your potatoes: Start by cutting a layer off of the bottom of each potato, just enough so they don’t roll. Then cut slits across the potato, around 3-5mm apart, taking care not to cut all the way through. To make cutting easier, take two wooden spoons or two chopsticks and place them either side of the potato this should prevent you cutting all the way through.
- Oil: I recommend doing this with a pastry brush. Brush infused oil evenly on all sides then sprinkle the potato with a generous pinch of salt (skip for young children)
- Bake: Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for around 30 mins (timings will depend on potato size)
- Second Oil Coating: A second coating of oil, halfway through the cooking time, is essential if you want your potatoes to be lovely and crispy. As the potatoes cook they start to fan out which allows you to brush oil right inside the potato.
- Second Bake: Place the potatoes back in the oven for a further 30 mins or until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle
- Serve as a side or with a selection of toppings.
My Hasselback Potatoes Didn't Crisp Up...
- Double Coating of Oil: To make sure your potatoes are crispy you should brush the potatoes with oil before cooking and then again halfway through the cooking process. As the potatoes cook they start to fan out which allows you to brush right inside the potato which really helps them to crisp up.
- Potato Variety: Starchy potatoes will produce the crispest crust because of their high starch content, waxier potatoes will not crisp up as much.
- Thin Even Slices: Make sure your slices aren't too thick and go far enough down the potato.
- Don't Overcrowd: If you crowd the Hasselback potatoes, they aren’t going to cook and crisp up as well.
My potatoes are still hard in the inside...
- Cooking Time: Potatoes vary in size and all ovens are different. Try cooking them for a little longer.
- Potato Variety: Waxier potatoes will remain firmer with a creamier texture, starchy varieties will have a fluffier texture.
Make-ahead / Storage Instructions
- Make-Ahead: You can slice your potatoes ahead of time, but you will need to place them in water to stop browning. When ready to bake, drain, dry well, coat in oil and bake as per instructions.
- After Baking: Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Re-heat in the oven.
- Freezing: Hasselback potatoes don’t freeze well, becoming watery and mushy when defrosted.
How my kids enjoy eating Hasselback Potatoes (above) - Peeling off the slices!
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- Baking Tray
- Pestel and Mortar (optional)
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 8 Medium Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 220C (425F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and (optional) using a pestle and mortar, grind the rosemary (which will release flavour and aroma). Add the olive oil to the rosemary and allow to infuse.
- Wash, scrub and dry the potatoes.
- Cut a thin layer off of the bottom of each potato, just enough so they don’t roll. Then cut slits across the potato, around 3-5mm (¼-1/8th inch) apart, stopping just before you cut through so that the slices stay connected at the bottom of the potato. To make cutting easier, take two wooden spoons, or two chopsticks, and place them either side of the potato. This should prevent you from cutting all the way through.
- Using a pastry brush, brush half of the infused oil evenly on all sides of the potatoes
- Place the potatoes on the prepared baking tray and bake for 30 mins
- Remove potatoes from the oven and carefully brush the potatoes with the remaining oil, making sure to brush oil right inside the potato slits. Sprinkle each potato with a generous pinch of salt (skip for babies / young children)
- Return to the oven and bake for a further 30 mins or until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and cooked in the inside.