Friday, June 4, 2010

A regional dish from the Auvergne

Before entering the oven

One of the most unusual dishes we ate in France was called Pounti, pronounced, I believe, (poon-tee) and it is another regional dish of the Auvergne region. The Trout ordered it once in a restaurant even though it was very expensive. I got a bite, but we have been talking about it since.

Ken at Living the Life in Saint Aignan has gone to the trouble to translate the recipe from French to English and we followed his recipe. As with all these recipes, the cook rules and Pounti is made many different ways. It is usually served in bite sized pieces with a glass of wine as an aperitif. It can also be lightly fried until brown on each side and served as a main course for dinner.

Some cooks make it meatless, some add pork, and we added bacon and ham and used fontina cheese since it was in the refrigerator. The greens we added were chopped spinach leaves and, of course, the ingredient that is not omitted, prunes. A savory bread or cake with a hint of sweetness from the prunes.

We sampled while still warm, and it was calling for a glass of wine. It will have to wait for the cocktail hour tonight.

Auvergne Pounti Cake

3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 lb. grated cheese
1/2 lb. cured ham
1/4 lb. smoked bacon
15 pitted prunes
1/2 lb. chard or spinach
1 medium onion
salt and pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, flour and baking powder. Gradually stir in the vegetable oil. Warm the milk briefly and gradually incorporate into the batter. Mix in the grated cheese, a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Chop the onion and saute lightly in a pan with the bacon. Meanwhile, cute the ham into strips. Chop the greens roughly and cut each prune into two or four pieces.

When the onions and bacon have cooled slightly, mix all the ingredients into the batter.

Bake the batter in a buttered loaf pan for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool 15 or 20 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Pour the wine and enjoy.


  1. ours is a heck of lot better than what we paid about $25 a pound for (9E for a 3oz dry slice)in the Auvergne - will be good with a nice glass of red with my honey!

    we should have some aligot tho to go along side of it!!


  2. Thanks for your kind comments about my "recipe"; however, I'd rather be dining on one of your Auvergne dishes and sipping a nice wine.

    Have a good weekend!


  3. I've never tried anything quite like this but can imagine that it is lovely with a glass of wine. The prunes have me a little concerned, but, what the heck, I might love it!

  4. I agree with Kathy,

    I have never had anything like this before..and boy am I intrigued! Shall have to give this a try..sounds super good!

  5. Never heard of this but I love it!!

  6. $25.00 a pound? Wow, it better be spectacular! I love salty and sweet together and I think the prune/bacon combination will be delicious for sure. Are you going to let us know how you liked it?

  7. This sounds really delicious with its great mix of ingredients. It is hearty for sure and I'm just trying to figure out why it would be so expensive for a small serving. Yours looks wonderful! Cheers!

  8. I absolutely love dishes like this Susan. I will be trying it soon. It is even good for you! Thank you.

  9. This looks so nice, and I like all the ingredients, but I think I'll have to make it to experience what it tastes like, but my imagination is not helping me enough here! I love prunes and everything else in this recipe.

  10. Thank you for bringing this traditional recipe from Auvergne to your many readers!
    My husband is from Auvergne and we go sometimes to the Maison du Cantal, an Auvergne cuisine restaurant in Paris - but mostly in winter!

  11. Laura, thank you so much for commenting. Yes, I have just read that Maison du Cantal is the place in Paris for Auvergne dishes. We really enjoyed it. Perhaps, next time, I wil eliminate the bacon. It is a rather strong flavor. I must say it is even better today.

  12. I've enjoyed pounti since we saw it in the Auvergne region a year or two ago. It's a good recipe. You can leave out some of the ingredients and still come up with a good savory cake for hors-d'oeuvres with wine.

  13. Ken, thank you for your comments. I have been reading your blog for quite some time. Your love for France certainly comes through your writing.

  14. This is a new one to me Susan and one I am going to try! Many thanks!

  15. I would love this with the prunes. Prunes are so misunderstood in this country. They are fabulous in so many things.