Sweet Potatoes Anna with Prunes

By • November 11, 2009 • 49 Comments

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Author Notes: This can be finished with a dusting of sugar and a couple of minutes of broiling, for a brulee top. It can also be done using apples and prunes, or just apples.mrsp

Food52 Review: This layered sweet potato gratin comes out of the oven caramelized on the edges and glistening with butter. The potatoes in the center are soft, their layers embedded with prunes; the ones around the edges are so crisp and sweet from the port, they taste candied. Slice the potatoes thinly -- use a mandoline if you have one -- and check the potatoes after 35 minutes in the oven. By 40 minutes, ours was perfect. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 6-10

  • 5-6 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 cup port
  • 10 pitted prunes
  1. Melt 1/2 pound butter and clarify. (Skim off the foam & milk solids until all that remains is clear butterfat.)
  2. Heat a cup of port and soak ten pitted prunes until slightly plumped, about 20 minutes. Drain and chop the prunes coarsely.
  3. Preheat oven to 450.
  4. Brush clarified butter onto your favorite eight- or nine-inch round baking dish or oven-proof frying pan.
  5. Put a layer of potatoes, overlapping in circles, in the dish. Brush with clarified butter, and salt and pepper. Put another layer of potatoes and about half the prune pieces. Salt and pepper. Brush with clarified butter. Repeat two more layers, embedding the rest of the prunes at the end and brushing each layer with clarified butter and salt and pepper. You can do four layers of potatoes or six, it's up to you. Pack the potatoes tightly. If there's a little butter left at the end, it's no big deal.
  6. Bake at 450 for 45-60 minutes until crisp and tender.
  7. Remove from oven when crisp and tender. After a few minutes, flip onto a serving plate.
Jump to Comments (49)

Comments (49) Questions (10)

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11 months ago Kristy Zemball Powers

We loved this recipe. I followed it to the tee each time I made it. It is a new standard in our house and in addition to following this recipe (Which is delicious), I also play around with it and make it several ways now. Sometimes I add crispy bacon, sauteed onions, or just plain with potatoes, ghee, salt and pepper. There are a a lot of possibilities with this recipe. Thanks so much!

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12 months ago Sewassbe

I made this last christmas and while I loved the flavor (I added lots of black pepper), the sweet potatoes took FOREVER to cook. I had sliced them as thinly as possible by hand, but I think either parboiling them first, or using a mandoline slicer is really the key here. They were in the oven for over an hour, and were still nearly crunchy when I took them out (at a party, so that was stressful). Still - we used the leftovers with leftover pork roast and black beans and made the most wonderfully delicious stew. I loved the flavor of the sweet potatoes, prunes, and black pepper with the pork, bacon, and black beans. Yum!

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about 1 year ago Sujatha

Wasnt impressed with this dish. Pureed the plums w/ some of the soaking port after they were cool, i think that worked better than pieces. But kind of blah beyond that. Decided to bake in a foil-wrapped 8-inch springform pan (which is NOT what directions specify) b/c i thought it would be easier to de-pan -- this was NOT a good idea, as the butter all leaked out of the pan and into the oven. Perhaps the flavor of the dish leaked out along with the butter???

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about 2 years ago noahluck

Ugh, this was the first dish in a while that we simply threw away. It simply became a loose pile of plain sweet potato chips. Most of the instructions for this recipe are missing in retrospect, and the guesswork involved will lead to a wide variety of outcomes. I might try again and precook the sweet potatoes, or at least soak them.

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about 2 years ago artist342

I made this for a holiday dinner potluck last week,and it disappeared so fast that I didn't get any!!! I made a 12" version, and think 10" would be much easier to manage. It's fantastic, folks.

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about 2 years ago The Principal Cook

Can I use ghee instead of clarified butter?

Stringio

12 months ago Layla Corcoran

Ghee is clarified butter.

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about 2 years ago Albickoff

Is there anything that you can use other than port? Maybe something non-alcoholic?

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about 2 years ago thirschfeld

hot water to soften them, more often then not, is how I do it.

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27 days ago FloraTheMachine

Yes of course. You could soak them in something else for flavor.

Stringio

about 2 years ago Polly Husted

Peeled -- got it!

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about 2 years ago Jill Chamberlin

What a great recipe! Perfect for T'sgiving. How far in advance can it be assembled?

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about 2 years ago Jill Chamberlin

What a great T'giving recipe! how far in advance can it be assembled? The morning of?

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over 2 years ago artisanal

I love how everyone commented on this being perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. To me, this sounds like the perfect spin on Passover tsimmes!

Junechamp

over 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Well, it lolks like Tzimmes to me, too. And I'm thinking of it for Rosh Hashanah. Sweet for the new year!

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almost 3 years ago Jazzball

SO much butter!! What about using olive oil instead?

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almost 3 years ago deanna1001

So beautiful with the Christmas ham! I soaked the prunes in Madeira (I had on hand.) Fabulous!

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almost 3 years ago Waverly

This is a wonderful recipe. I made it over the holidays and everyone loved it.

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about 3 years ago BonEllen

I'm making this tomorrow to bring to Thanksgiving... and wondering how folks have served this? Did you use a knife and cut it into pie-shaped wedges? Or can you scoop and serve with a spoon?

Denae_peters

about 3 years ago Denae Peters

Made this today with raisins instead of prunes and added a pinch of ground nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. It was incredible!

Denae_peters

about 3 years ago Denae Peters

Made this today with raisins instead of prunes and added a pinch of ground nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. It was incredible!

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about 3 years ago Hloper

I saw a recipe in which the directions included, "reverse the direction of your layers to increase stability."
This might address the problem one cook experienced where it just slid apart. I haven't cooked the recipe yet, but that did seem like a good tip to add to the recipe's instructions.

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about 3 years ago Hloper

Sorry about the repeats. This is my first time commenting, and I wasn't patient enough after hitting send.

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about 3 years ago Hloper

I saw a recipe in which the directions included, "reverse the direction of your layers to increase stability."
This might address the problem one cook experienced where it just slid apart. I haven't cooked the recipe yet, but that did seem like a good tip to add to the recipe's instructions.

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about 3 years ago Hloper

I saw a recipe in which the directions included, "reverse the direction of your layers to increase stability."
This might address the problem one cook experienced where it just slid apart. I haven't cooked the recipe yet, but that did seem like a good tip to add to the recipe's instructions.

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about 3 years ago Hloper

I saw a recipe in which the directions included, "reverse the direction of your layers to increase stability."
This might address the problem one cook experienced where it just slid apart. I haven't cooked the recipe yet, but that did seem like a good tip to add to the recipe's instructions.

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about 3 years ago Hloper

I saw a recipe in which the directions included, "reverse the direction of your layers to increase stability."
This might address the problem one cook experienced where it just slid apart. I haven't cooked the recipe yet, but that did seem like a good tip to add to the recipe's instructions.

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about 3 years ago mrsp

I realize from one of the comments that the recipe should say "peeled sweet potatoes." Sorry about that.

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about 3 years ago Jennifer Ann

I have been coveting this recipe for over a year now, and finally have the perfect forum for it - my first Thanksgiving dinner! Cannot wait to delight my guests.

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about 3 years ago Gelfo

I made this with Purple Japanese sweet potatoes and used raisins instead of prunes. YUM!!!!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Love at first sight.

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almost 4 years ago familydinners

Made this last night. I didn't use enough butter, but it was still good. Also, maybe sweet potatoes are bigger in Texas (ha!), but I only used 4 and it seemed too many. Even with these issues, everyone loved it. I'll definately make this again.

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about 4 years ago TakeThymeToCook

This was incredible. I wasn't sure how it was going to taste when the top layer was a little crispy on the edges of some of the potato circles, and I couldn't taste any before I took it to my pot luck thanksgiving. When I finally took a bit I actually said "wow!" outloud, surprised at how incredible it turned out. This will be something I use many Christmases/Thanksgiving to come.

ps I used yams (we don't have orange sweet potatoes where I live). I know there are subtle differences, but it still was great!

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about 4 years ago susan_chervitz_migliorini

I'm not sure what I did wrong! When I "flipped" the final product onto my serving dish, the entire thing just slid apart. It tasted wonderful, the presentation was just "lacking". Any suggestions? Thanks!

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about 3 years ago JenGnsbrg

Did you use clarified butter or just melt the butter? One possible reason is the water in melted butter that has not been clarified tends to pull dishes like this a part. Clarifying the butter tends suck most of the water out of it allowing dishes to emulsify better. I haven't tried this recipe yet though so this is just a guess. Sounds amazing though!!!

Ry_400

about 4 years ago melissav

Excellent recipe. We made it last night and it will be gracing our Thanksgiving table next week. Many thanks.

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about 4 years ago thirschfeld

I made this last night, really fantastic. I often add prunes to a potato gallete a la The French Laundry and this held its own and then some in my book. I soaked the prunes in cognac because I didn't have any port. These will go into the winter rotation thanks for sharing this recipe

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about 4 years ago bubblensqueak

looks great- is this intended as a dessert, or a main course? also, i think the preparation of the potatoes is missing in the recipe.

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about 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Why is clarified butter, instead of either simple melted butter, used in this recipe? Is there any reason not to use ghee, which is more flavorful? Also, is this dessert? Thanks! ;o)

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I just made it with melted (not clarified) butter. It's wonderful.

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over 4 years ago Skylor Powell

I love sweet potatoes. I love prunes. What could be better than this? I have been cooking lots with sweet potatoes and curries, this will be a great turn in tastes.

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almost 5 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

What an amazing combination, sweet potatoes and prunes, how delicious! Congratulations, I am really happy you got the prize.

Steve_dunn02

about 5 years ago Oui, Chef

This looks like a terrific dish, congratulations! Funny, but regardless of what I'm cooking, I never seem to have any butter left in the end, I wonder why that is? ;-)

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about 5 years ago dymnyno

What a fabulous twist of originality on a classic. I am definitely trying this! CONGRATULATIONS!

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about 5 years ago Aliwaks

I'm filing this away for the seder, its like tsimmes but better

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about 3 years ago BonEllen

That is my plan too! Though, I might try to audition it at Thanksgiving this year.

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about 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Oh my gosh, how did I miss this recipe! I'm soo glad you're the wildcard winner this week. I cannot wait to make this.

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about 5 years ago Veronica

Just had sliced winter squash with prunes at lunch--deelish, but I think this looks even better. Thanks!

Winnie100

about 5 years ago WinnieAb

YUM!