Cook1 hr 30 mins
This classic French potato gratin dish is world famous, and rightly so! I am quite happy to have this as a main meal, with just some crusty bread and a large mixed salad on the side. I have heard that this famous dish was created as a way of encouraging the "Dauphin" (the young prince destined to become King Henri II), to eat up his vegetables, hence the name! Maybe - it is certainly just as popular with children, as it is with adults. Try to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible for the best results. A wonderful accompaniment for all sorts of roast meats, stews, casseroles and poultry.
- 3 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (such as Desiree, Golden Wonder, Maris Piper, Idaho or King Edward)
- 6 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
- 3⁄4 pint double cream
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 ounce butter
- cheese, for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300F/150C/gas mark 2.
- Take a heavy-bottomed dish or an ovenproof gratin dish (a Le Creuset is ideal - the potatoes tend not to catch), and grease it will with some of the butter.
- Layer the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping each other, seasoning lightly with the salt and pepper, and sprinkling a liberal amount of cheese on each layer.
- Sprinkle cheese on the top of the last layer.
- Put the double cream, garlic and sprigs of thyme in a pan and bring to them gently to the boil, then remove the thyme and pour hot cream over the potatoes.
- Dot the top of the gratin with the remaining butter and some extra cheese if you wish, and bake for about 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs, or until the potatoes are soft, and the top is crispy and golden brown.
- Serve bubbling hot as a main meal or as an accompaniment.