John Tovey’s Potato and Mushroom Flan

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Appears in

The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

  • About

Here is an adaptation of a recipe of John Tovey’s. He is chef/patron of Miller Howe on Lake Windermere. He was inspired by what he described as a ‘baked upside-down potato gateau with fresh grated truffles’ that he ate in Provence.


  • lb (700 g) potatoes, cleaned
  • Olive oil
  • 3 oz (75 g) butter
  • 8 oz (225 g) onions, sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 12 oz (350 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • ½ pint (275 ml) cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Peel and thinly slice 1 lb (450 g) of the potatoes and fry on one side in a little olive oil and 1 oz (25 g) of the butter until browned. Drain on kitchen paper and arrange around the bottom and sides of a 1 x 8-inch loose-bottomed flan tin (I line it with silver foil), reserving enough potatoes to cover the top. The cooked side goes outside.

Cook the onions and the garlic with the rest of the butter for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms. Drain and keep. Grate the remaining ½ lb of potatoes and layer in the flan tin with the mushroom mixture.

Beat the eggs with the cream and cumin powder, season and pour over the flan. Put the remaining potato slices on top and cook at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C for about 45 minutes. A lovely dish.

‘As a producer of problems for Food Controllers, the potato has no rival in the vegetable or animal world.’

Sir William Beveridge, 1928.

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