The trick to a good potato gratin recipe is to put the potatoes into the cream as you cut them. The cream will keep the cut potatoes from oxidizing― turning brown―without washing off the potato’s starch. The starch helps to thicken the cream and hold the potatoes together when cooked.
I love the Parmesan cheese and thyme in these potatoes, but I’ll sometimes change it up with Gruyère and a little roasted garlic. You can make this gratin ahead of time and reheat it, covered with foil, in a low oven.–Louis Lambert and June Naylor
LC Gloating About Gratin Note
We used to get our gratins and escalloped confused. But then we figured out that gratins contain cheese, escalloped just milk or cream. Guess which one we prefer.
Parmesan Potato Gratin Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours | Serves 8 to 10
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
- 1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°). Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish or a 3-quart Dutch oven with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
- 2. In a large bowl, combine the cream, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, the salt, white pepper, thyme, and nutmeg.
- 3. Evenly slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick and place in the bowl with the seasoned cream, stirring to coat the potatoes. Arrange the potato slices in the casserole dish, overlapping them like shingles on a roof. Pour the cream mixture remaining in the bowl evenly over the potatoes; the cream should come almost to the top layer of potatoes. Press down on the potatoes with the back of a spoon to evenly nestle them into the cream.
- 4. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan over the potatoes and then dot the top of the cheese with small pieces of the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Bake the gratin, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let the gratin rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. (If you want to reheat the gratin, cover the dish with foil and place in 275°F (135°C) oven for at least 40 to 45 minutes.)
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Parmesan Potato Gratin Recipe © 2011 Louis Lambert | June Naylor. Photo © 2011 Ralph Lauer. All rights reserved.