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Jansson's Temptation Recipe

An excellent Swedish potato gratin dish, with various stories raging over its invention.
The most popular being that it tempted a religious fanatic to break his vow to renounce earthly pleasure.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards


For 4-6 people:

- 30g/1 oz Butter, plus a little extra for greasing the dish

- 2 medium Onions, peeled and thinly sliced

- 2 medium cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely-chopped

- 6 Anchovy fillets, chopped

- 750g/1 lb 10 oz of waxy Potatoes, such as Maris Peer or Nicola - peeled and thinly sliced - don't wash them, as their starch is needed

- 600ml/1 pint Double Cream

- 150ml/¼ pint full-fat Milk

- 90g/3 oz fresh White Breadcrumbs

- Freshly ground Black Pepper


- Generously butter a gratin dish, wth deep sides.

- Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.

- Melt the butter in a big saucepan, big enough to hold the potatoes as well.

- Add the sliced onions and sweat gently for about 5 minutes, until they start to become translucent but not brown.

- Add the garlic and chopped anchovies, and sweat gently for a further 5 minutes.

- Add the potato slices to the onion mixture, and plenty of black pepper, and remove the mixture from the heat.

- Put this mixture into the gratin dish, and arrange the top so it is level.

- Heat the cream and milk together until hot, but not boiling - then pure this over the sliced potatoes, which should be completely covered (if not use a little more cream/milk/water)

- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

- Remove the foil, carefully, and sprinkle of the breadcrumbs.

- Return to the oven until the potato is gently bubbling, and the breadcrumbs golden.

Serve straight from the oven.

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