Potato Gratín with Dried Plums

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

The famous prunes from Agen in southwestern France are large, soft, and moist. American prunes are the same as the Agen variety and can easily be substituted to make this incredibly delicious dish. Prunes are now sold as “dried plums” as part of a campaign to give a “sexier image” to this much maligned, wrinkled fruit. The California Dried Plum Board, which has started off with lots of success, kindly gave me a recipe, which I adapted for this collection.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons butter or duck fat
  • 3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup pitted prunes (dried plums; about 6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons port or sweet red wine
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Use a quarter of the butter or duck fat to grease an 2-quart round baking dish. Add the garlic cloves and bake in the oven until soft, about 15 minutes. Set the baking dish aside. Skin and crush the garlic to a paste; blend with the remaining butter or duck fat. Stir in the milk and set aside.
  2. Cut the dried plums into small pieces. Place in a food processor, add the port, and process until a paste forms. Add the heavy cream and nutmeg and grind to a saucelike consistency.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and slice the potatoes. Arrange a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the greased baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper, spoon a thin layer of the dried plum mixture on top of the potatoes, and continue to build layers, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the garlic-flavored milk over the potatoes.
  4. Bake for 1½ hours, or until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.