The Fatal Liquid Mistake To Avoid For Creamy Root Vegetable Purées

Unlike a thin soup or broth, purées are meant to hold some of their shape while giving your dish a creamy mouthfeel. On that note, you should never use hot water in your root vegetable purée. Sure, water serves a great purpose for other cooking methods and dishes, but it should be avoided at all costs for a thick and glossy purée. You're going to find that it becomes more of a watery and runny consistency or, even worse, something that splits, coagulates, and runs wet.

Of the many root vegetable purées, we are most familiar with pomme purée, which is almost just a smoother mashed potato. The rule with making pomme purée, as for all root vegetable purées (including the carrot and squash varieties), is that any clear liquid like water is an absolute no-no. So how do we purée vegetables into that creamy texture without making a chunky, grainy vegetable mash? Use something with fat for a perfectly smooth consistency. 

Use whole milk or heavy cream instead

Milk or heavy cream will give your purée the desired thickness and smoothness. While any milk is better in this context than water, whole milk will give your purée the smoothest texture due to its higher fat content. Lower fat percentage milk (like 2% or skim) will behave like water in most cases and split your finished product or make it more watery than creamy. So stick to whole milk to ensure that your purées holds their shape, whether they be used in little dollops for decoration or as a base for braised meats.

If you want an extra boost of rich flavor, go with heavy cream. Heavy cream is much higher in fat than whole milk, and its viscous consistency will both thicken and emulsify your purée. Another way to avoid watery purée is to cook your vegetables thoroughly so that you don't need to add any excess liquid during the blending process. After blending, feel free to add either dairy product or even sour cream for a touch of tang. Just remember that when you substitute heavy cream for milk, cream has around 36% to 40% milk fat, while milk only has 3.25% milk fat. A little bit of heavy cream goes a long way, and you could even mix both for the perfect buttery purée.