Sliced Potatoes Baked in Cream
A gratin is a dish having a crusled or browned surface. Originating in the region of the Alps known as the Dauphine, this simple and easy potato dish is truly one of France’s great gratins and is ideal to serve with roast beef, lamb, and poultry. Many different versions of this gratin recipe exist. Some are made with cream and cheese, while others are made with milk, eggs, and cheese. I feel the best are made just with a combination of milk and cream, which I heat before baking to cut the baking time in half. (If you are not in a rush, you can eliminate this step, but cook the potatoes 1 hour.)
Recipes differ in how the potatoes for a gratin dauphinoise are prepared. Some chefs insist on slicing and soaking the potatoes in cold water to rid them of their surface starch before baking. Others, including myself, believe the starch is necessary for the creamy consistency of the potatoes. However, if you prepare the potatoes ahead of time, they do need to be soaked to prevent them from discoloring. Therefore, for this recipe, if you slice the potatoes in advance, soak them in the milk and cream in which they will be cooked so as not to lose the starch.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, rich, savory
Type of Dishcasserole
- Butter for baking dish
- 4 pounds large potatoes (about 8), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 459°. Butter a large (9 X 14 inches) baking dish.
Layer the sliced potatoes in the baking dish and sprinkle with the garlic, salt, and pepper.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Pour over the layered potatoes.
Bake in the cemter of the oven until the potatoes are brown and tender and a knife easily penetrates them, 35 to 40 minutes. The potatoes should simmer or gently boil while in the oven. If they begin to boil rapidly, or brown before they are tender, reduce the heat by 25 to 50 degrees.
5. Remove the dish from the oven and serve. The potatoes will stay hot for about 30 minutes. (The gratin can be made ahead of time. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat by bringing back to room temperature and then placing in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.)
Sprinkle 2 ounces (about 2/3 cup) grated Swiss-style cheese, such as Gruyère or Emmenthaler, over the gratin in step 3.
1988 Richard Grausman