rich and cheesy potato gratin

April 9, 2012

Let me just lay on the line that it’s not easy to get an attractive picture of this dish. I’ve tried on about three different occasions. Hopefully you can see the beauty that I see in this bubbling, rich, cheese-crusty potato gratin.

I made this for our family’s Easter dinner at the weekend, hoping it would go well with ham. Duh – it did. Two and a half pounds of scalloped potatoes baked in a bubbling warm mix of cream, milk, and nutmeg with Gruyere cheese sprinkled on top. It’s practically ham’s best friend.

This isn’t as thick and cheesy as you might guess – the cheese certainly gets gooey but the cream sauce stays pretty thin and provides a great gravy substitute for pouring on top of your ham. The perfect bite consists of a good bit of that charred, cheesy crust and a healthy spoonful of creamy sauce.

It’s over-the-top rich and whenever I make it I eat far more than advisable. Definitely stretchy pants material.

Rich and Cheesy Potato Gratin
adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Peel potatoes and place in a bowl of water to prevent discolouring. Rub the inside of a 9-by-12-inch oval baking dish with cut sides of garlic. Heat cream, milk, nutmeg, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around edge. Season with pepper and remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick and transfer to a bowl. Pour warm cream mixture on top and mix well, using your hands to separate and coat potatoes, and transfer to prepared dish. Gently push potatoes down, and pour cream mixture from bowl over top. Sprinkle liberally with Gruyere. Bake (with a baking sheet placed on the rack below to catch drips) until the potatoes are fork tender and the top is bubbling and brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

atoastandtea April 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

That cheesy crust looks pretty attractive to me!


Faith April 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I just stumbled on your blog completely by accident and I have to say, I fell immediately in love! Your recipes are gorgeous — homey and comforting, just the sort of food I like to eat. My mom used to make potato gratin all the time but I think I’ve only made it once or twice as an adult! I need to remedy that. :)


Heather April 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Wowza, that looks incredibly tasty!


Emily @LivingLongfellow April 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm

This looks soooo amazing. I wonder what I could bake it in since I don’t have an oval dish. Do you think a more shallow square anchor dish would work?


Em (Wine and Butter) April 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Before you said the stretchy pants thing I was thinking this would work PERFECTLY for my new diet. :).

We also had ham and cheese for Easter – although it was this dish of braised celery hearts, wrapped in ham and then baked in a Bechamel. Super good, except I bombed a bit on the white sauce by skipping the flour and adding an egg yolk instead. Not exactly the desired consistency although possibly the best tasting white sauce EVER…

Unfortunately it was so rich no-one would take me up on the Tequila milkshake offer for afterwards. Happy Easter!


Lynne April 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Growing up, my mom’s “famous” potatoes au gratin came straight from a box, but we loved that the powdery orange sauce was a bit on the thin side — the better to dip into! This is a SERIOUS upgrade and *will* be happening soon. Thank you for taking one for the team and testing this one. =)


Marisa April 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm

This looks absolutely gorgeous to me! I know exactly what you mean about it looking attractive – but knowing what it is makes all the difference – I seriously want to dig right in!! Yum


Hayley @ Oat Couture April 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Oh my goodness it looks bloody attractive from where I’m sitting! (like an inch away from my laptop screen! Ha!)


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