Recipe: Jansson’s Temptation

Posted by Bronte Aurell | Food & Recipes, Inside ScandiKitchen, Scandi Life

Recipe taken from our book The Scandi Kitchen – available at all good bookshops and online and in our cafe shop.

Making a Smorgasbord this Christmas? Then you should most certainly add Jansson’s Temptation – it’s so very delicious.

This is one of the most famous dishes in Sweden – and considering it’s only really a side dish, that says something. It’s truly delicious and unlike other potato gratins. The flavour of the dish comes from the ‘Ansjovis’, which are pickled sprats (and not to be confused with anchovies). Serve as part of a traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord or with roast lamb.


700 g potatoes such as King Edward or similar

25 g butter

200 g onion, finely sliced

1 x 125-g tin of Grebbestads Ansjovis (pickled sprats in brine) or small pickled herrings

salt and freshly ground black pepper

300 ml double cream

300 ml whole milk

2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs

30 x 20 cm baking dish



Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Peel the potatoes and chop them into small 0.5-cm piece sticks (a bit thinner than French fries). Put them on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes to pre-cook them. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft. Take care not to burn the onion – it should be cooked, but shouldn’t turn brown.

Add the pre-cooked potatoes to the onion mixture and fold together. Layer half of the onion and potato mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then top with half the sprat fillets placed at even intervals. Season with salt and pepper and pour over half the cream and milk. Add another layer of onion and potato, then the remaining sprats on top. Pour the remaining sprat brine, then the remaining milk and cream over the dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and season.

Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the potatoes are cooked. If the dish is looking dry, you can add more milk – the aim is to get a creamy consistency.


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