For these Mashed Potatoes, Yukon Gold, red, russet, or white potatoes can be used--each turns out a different texture. For smooth mashed potatoes, a food mill or potato ricer fitted with the finest disk is the best choice. For chunky mashed potatoes, use a potato masher and decrease the half-and-half to 3/4 cup.
In order for the potato cake to hold together, it is important to slice the potatoes no more than 1/8 inch thick and to make sure the slices are thoroughly dried before assembling the cake. Use a mandoline slicer or the slicing attachment of a food processor to slice the potatoes uniformly thin. A pound of dried beans, rice, or coins can be substituted for the pie weights.