Pain de Pommes de Terre au Jambon (pan d’ pohm d’ tair oh jahm-bohn) makes a tasty lunch, served hot with green vegetables. Alternatively, serve the loaf cold for picnics or buffets, with pickles, small white onions and stuffed olives. It is important not to overcook the potatoes, as the mixture must be very stiff.
2 lb. potatoes, cooked, mashed and cooled
1 oz. flour, sifted
H oz. butter, softened
2 tablespoons double cream
2 egg yolks
2 oz. Gruyere cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 slices prosciutto
Preheat the oven to moderate 350’F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
Line a medium-sized baking sheet with non-stick silicone paper and set it aside.
Place the mashed potatoes in a medium-sized mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon, beat in the flour, butter, cream, egg yolks, half the cheese, the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Continue beating until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into a ball and cover the bowl. Place it in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour, or until the potato mixture is stiff enough to roll out.
Place a clean cloth flat on a working surface and sprinkle it liberally with flour. Remove the potato mixture from the refrigerator and place it on the cloth.
With a floured rolling pin, roll out the mixture into an oblong approximately J-inch thick. Lay the ham slices over the potato mixture, making sure they do not hang over the edges.
With the help of the cloth, carefully roll up the potato and ham mixture. With your hands, pat the ends of the roll to round them and seal in the ham.
Very carefully lift the roll on to the prepared baking sheet placing it seam side down. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the loaf is crisp and golden brown on the outside.
Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before carefully transferring it to a serving plate or wooden serving board. Serve the loaf hot, or set it aside to cool completely before slicing and serving.