Jansson’s Temptation

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Preparation info

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Appears in

The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

  • About

This is a famous Swedish dish, but not one for slimmers. Theories conflict about its origin. One account has the eponymous Jansson, one Erik Jansson, a deeply religious man who was forbidden any enjoyment by his church, succumbing to one temptation and his name was thus immortalised. Another version attributes the dish to a Swedish opera singer called Adolf Janzen, a socially ambitious fellow who liked to give his sophisticated friends food with a peasant origin.


  • lb (700 g) potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tins anchovy fillets
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ pint (400 ml) cream
  • A little butter


You will need a gratin dish and some foil. Layer the potatoes and the onions with the anchovies in the dish, peppering as you go. Finish with potatoes on the top layer.

Pour over half the cream and a little of the anchovy oil. Dot with a little butter if you like. Cover with the foil and cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes. Then pour in the rest of the cream and turn the heat down low. The potatoes will take another hour to cook. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.

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