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floury winter potatoes
 —  large and thick-skinned
plain or flavoured crème fraîche, Finnish curd cream, smetana or sour cream

If you plan to serve baked potatoes with a flavoured sauce, prepare it in advance, cover and place in refrigerator to wait.

Choose potatoes of equal size. Using a vegetable brush, rinse and wash the potatoes thoroughly under cold, running water. Pat dry. Prick a few holes in the potatoes with a fork or the tip of a knife, otherwise they may explode in the oven during baking.

Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack, unwrapped and uncovered. (If you only have thin-skinned potatoes, wrap them individually and tightly in foil.) Bake at 225 °C for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until the potatoes may be easily pierced with a knife.

Using a sharp knife, cut a cross-shaped incision on top of each potato. Protecting your hands with oven mitts, silicone gloves, a towel etc, squeeze the potatoes gently from opposite sides towards the centre, so that they will spread open, exposing the fluffy centre.

Serve the potatoes immediately, topped with a knob of butter and/or a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream etc.

Serving suggestion:
To prepare a creamy sauce for the potatoes, flavour some crème fraîche, smetana, sour cream or Finnish curd cream with condiments of your choice. You can use various spices, garlic, chopped, fresh herbs (eg dill, chives, spring onion, basil, parsley, etc), grated horseradish, mustard, tomato paste, chilli sauce, lemon juice, chopped anchovies, shredded canned tuna or sardines, chopped smoked salmon or gravlax, cubed smoked ham, crisp bacon, chopped olives, pickled gherkins, or whatever you like.
Hint: To make Finnish curd cream thicker, stir it smooth and pour it in a coffee filter for the excess whey to drain out. Then stir in the flavouring ingredient(s).

Recipe source: family recipe/traditional recipe.


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