Casserole of Jansson's Temptation
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Jansson's Temptation
  -   Janssons Frestelse
6 app  
1-3/4 hrs  
A very popular appetizer or first round Smörgâsbord dish in Sweden. It can also be used as a light supper, and is often served as a last dish before guests head for home. It is, however, subject to a major translation error (see Note-2 which is sure to result in a defective Temptation. See also Note-3 for alternatives.



Potatoes (1)
Sprats (2)
Salt (3)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Peel POTATOES and cut into thin strips or grate coarse. I use a julienning vegetable peeler and just peel them into thin strips. Keep in cold water until needed to prevent browning
  3. Split ONIONS in half lengthwise and slice very thin crosswise. Fry stirring in a little oil until just wilted (no browning). Some recipes call for this, others just use the onions raw.
  4. Lift SPRATS from the can (keeping the liquid) and cut crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch long.
  5. Butter a 7 by 11 inch baking dish well. Layer in 1/3 of the Potatoes, then spread half the Onions and dot with half the Sprat pieces. Follow with another third of the potatoes, and the rest of the Onions. Dot with the rest of the Sprats, then top with the last third of the Potatoes.
  6. Pour about 1/2 the Sprat liquid around over the potatoes, then dot the top with Butter. Finally pour in 1/2 the Cream. Note that some recipes call for bread crumbs over the top for more browning, but I have very authentic recipes that do not.
  7. Slip into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Pull and pour the rest of the cream over (being careful not to pour cold cream against hot glass). Put back into the oven for another 20 minutes.
  1. Potatoes:   Red potatoes work well here, or White Rose. For details see our Potatoes page.
  2. Sprats:   That's a 3-1/2 ounce can of Swedish sprats (not smoked Baltic sprats). Many recipes not in Swedish call for "Anchovies". This is wrong! Ansjovis in Swedish means Sprats. Actual anchovies are called sardeller. Swedish sprats are totally different from Baltic sprats. They are not smoked and are packed in sugar, salt, vinegar and spices (particularly cloves and cinnamon), and come about 20 fillets to a 3-1/2 ounce flat can yielding 2 ounces drained. Abba brand are sold by IKEA for about $2.99 per can. They also sell Abba Matjes Herring made the same way, and it's a better deal - 4-1/2 ounces drained for the same price.
  3. Alternates:   "Herring Temptation" can be made with Salt Herring soaked overnight. You might wish to sprinkle a little salt on each layer of potatoes or make up a liquid similar to what the Sprats are packed in (more salty than vinegary). Lithuanian salt herring packed in oil would also do fine, well drained and with a little salt or liquid as above. These are likely more available in much of North Amercica than salt herring or the Swedish sprats.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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