These days, you can pop open a Web browser and find “gratin” recipes for everything from Brussels sprouts to corn chips with crab. Nope, not kidding. Gratin potatoes seems like a throwback, eh? There is a reason that this gorgeous dish is still world champ: It makes physical culinary sense. The potatoes are giving up their starch at the same rate that the cream is able to absorb it, resulting in an endlessly creamy bite. You can have your un-vetted internet search results and corn chips. I’ll take this classic, any day of the week.
- Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 5 -6 (about 2½-3 lb) russet potatoes, peeled, sliced ⅛-inch thick (a mandoline helps)
- 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Form a bottom layer in the baking dish using a third of the potato slices, overlapping them like shingles, followed by 1 teaspoon of thyme. Repeat with another layer of potato slices and 1 teaspoon of thyme. Place one last layer of the remaining potato on top.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients except the thyme and butter. Slowly pour the cream mixture over the potatoes, giving it some time to fall to the bottom of the baking dish and surround its contents.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of thyme across the top, and dot with pinches of the remaining butter.
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, transfer to the oven, and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, discard the foil,
- and return to the oven uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
- Remove the gratin from the oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve in loving, heaping spoonfuls.