Potato Gratin

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk 

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

4 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds; see Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

4 large cloves garlic, minced 

2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions

Special equipment:
a mandoline
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add the cream and milk to a large saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the nutmeg, a big pinch of salt and some pepper. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes on a mandoline to 1/8-inch thick. Place the potatoes in the warm cream mixture and simmer gently until the potatoes are two-thirds of the way cooked and the cream has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Place a 9-by-12-inch flameproof gratin dish on the stove over low heat. Brush the bottom and the sides with the melted butter. Spread the garlic around the bottom of the dish. Cook just long enough to toast the garlic in the butter, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a layer of the potato mixture. Combine the Gruyere and Parmesan in a bowl, then sprinkle a third of the cheese over the potatoes. Repeat the layering 2 more times, finishing with the remaining cheese. Pick the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the top, mixing with last layer of cheese. Place the gratin dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbly and golden, 45 to 50 minutes (see Cook's Note).

Cook’s Note

I don't peel the potatoes because it saves work and the skin adds nice flavor. I cook the potatoes on the stove first, then move things into the oven. This first cooking allows excess water to escape from the potatoes. It also allows you to control the seasoning longer into the cooking process. If the top of the gratin becomes too brown early in the baking stage, cover until there's about 15 minutes left, then remove the cover to get a nicely browned crust.