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“This rich, creamy, delicious traditional French potato gratin is a completely decadent and luxurious experience for the mouth.”
■ 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
■ 5 cups whole milk
■ 2 cloves garlic, very lightly crushed
■ 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
■ 1 1/2 cups crème fraiche (or sour cream)
■ 1 teaspoon salt
■ 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
■ Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
■ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
■ 2/3 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
Gather the ingredients.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the potatoes, milk, and garlic to a gentle simmer.
Continue to cook the potatoes, gently stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a
simmer, until just tender, about 15 minutes. Be very careful not to overcook them as they need to hold their shape
for layering in the pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, taking care not to break the slices. Drain the milk from
the pan and reserve for another use. Add the heavy cream, crème fraiche or sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg
to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Gently return the potatoes to the pan.
Heat the potato-cream mixture to barely a simmer (a few bubbles are fine but no more) for 10 to 15 minutes until
the potatoes are very tender but not falling apart.
Butter a large baking dish. Transfer the potatoes to the baking dish with a slotted spoon, layering them
without breaking them up too much.
Cover with the cream from the pan.
Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese over the potatoes (if using).
Bake in the oven until the potatoes are golden brown on top and the cream is mostly absorbed, about 50 minutes.
Serve with your favorite main dish. Enjoy
This is a great make-ahead side dish. Simply refrigerate it for up to 1 day before the final baking stage. To
serve, bring it up to room temperature, cover with foil, and put it into a very hot oven as above.
For a restaurant-style serving, leave the gratin to cool in the dish until cold then pop it into the refrigerator
for a few hours or overnight. When ready, use a tart cutter for individual portions and reheat by wrapping
in foil and popping into a very hot oven.