Potato Gratin

This is a classic French potato gratin. You can make it even more French by adding sautéed leeks, roasted garlic cloves, or grated Gruyère cheese. Or, you can give it an Italian flavor by adding chopped prosciutto, sautéed artichokes, or shredded Fontina cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (or as needed) heavy cream
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon (or to taste) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 waxy new or white potatoes, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick (about 7 cups) (see Note)

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart gratin dish or large baking dish. Heat the cream to boiling in a deep saucepan. Reduce the heat, add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste, and simmer 5 minutes. Layer the potatoes in the buttered dish and pour the seasoned cream over top. The cream should just cover the potatoes (if it doesn’t, add more cream). Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the potatoes are tender but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes more.

Variations

Cut ¼ inch from the tops of 2 heads of garlic. Rub with olive oil and place cut side up in a small baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F until very tender, about 40 minutes. Squeeze the softened garlic into a bowl. Heat the garlic skins to boiling with the cream; strain. Layer the softened garlic with the potatoes in the baking dish, pour the cream over top, and bake as directed.

Layer 1 cup sautéed artichoke slices, ½ cup diced prosciutto, or 1 cup sautéed leeks or onions with the potatoes. Top with grated Gruyère cheese if you like.