This idea for canapés using potato skins (which don’t go soggy like bread often does) comes from one of Sally Clarke’s excellent books. The first time I tried this my sister-in-law and a good friend both asked for the recipe.

My son wolfed down several before they had been loaded with their mascarpone cargo – then he tried a laden skin and wished he’d had the discipline to wait….

They’re a touch fiddly, but worth the effort, especially if you find someone to help you.


Recipe for truffle mascarpone-laden potato skins


for about eight people with drinks – they will disappear in a trice.


  • 6 baking potatoes (Desirée or King Edward)
  • Sea salt
  • 250g/8 oz/generous cup mascarpone
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying – cup and a half approximately/360ml
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil – the type that’s seen a truffle


  1. Heat the oven to 220°C
  2. scrub the potatoes clean
  3. make a 2” (4 cm) slit with a knife in the skin
  4. rub with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a little flaked salt (this draws the moisture out of the skins and makes them extra crispy)
  5. cook them for about an hour to an hour and a half – much depends on the size of the potato, whether you keep your potatoes in the fridge (you shouldn’t), whether your oven is up to speed … and other conditions. If, when you take them out and squeeze them a bit they start to open at the slit, they give a bit, and the skin has gone a little crispy, then they are ready.
  6. cut in half and scoop out the flesh – use this the following day to make fried potatoes to have with fried eggs and ham or bacon
  7. cut the skin up into slightly concave 1½”/6 cm squares or triangles
  8. peel and dice very finely the red onion
  9. mix the onion with the mascarpone, the herbs, the seasoning and the truffle oil
  10. heat your serving plate
  11. heat the vegetable oil in a flat-bottomed wok to about 1½”/6 cm deep and get it smoking hot
  12. fry quickly until the potato flesh is golden but they should not be fried to a crisp, just a bit crisped up
  13. drain on kitchen paper, and keep warm
  14. put a generous teaspoon of the mascarpone mixture on each shard of potato skin, press in so they don’t come apart
  15. serve on the heated serving plate with napkins.



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