This is my take on Julia's classic recipe. I use milk instead of cream and find it to be rich enough, since I am also using butter and cheese. I tend to simplify some of her details and I also use less butter than her recipe calls for.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and adjust oven rack to top third of oven.
- Rub the baking dish with cut garlic to impart a hint of flavor. (I use a large, shallow corningware dish that I can place both on the stovetop and in the oven.).
- Grease the baking dish with a bit of vegetable oil.
- Slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick and spread half of the slices in the bottom of the dish.
- Top with half of the salt, pepper, cheese and dots of butter.
- Repeat with the remaining slices and topping.
- Pour on the boiling milk. The amount of milk depends on the size of the baking dish and how full of potatoes it is. You just want to almost cover the potatoes with the milk.
- Set the baking dish over heat (on the stove is OK if you're using Corningware or the equivalent).
- When the milk starts to simmer, transfer the baking dish to the oven.
- Bake 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender, milk has been absorbed, and top is brown.