Reprinted with permission from MEDITERRANEAN CLAY POT COOKING: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share by Paula Wolfert (Wiley 2009).
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ cups whole milk or half-and-half
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1 cup shredded Emmenthaler, Gruyère, or Comté cheese (about 3½ ounces)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced, rinsed, and patted dry
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the inside of the gratin with the garlic clove. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease the dish.
- Heat the milk and 3/4 of the cream in a large conventional saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear around the edge of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg lightly. Gradually whisk in the hot creamy milk in a thin stream to temper the egg. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese, return to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes to melt the cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Add the potato slices to the sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to the buttered gratin and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup cheese on top and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Set in the oven. Raise the heat to 400°F and bake for 1 hour.
- Transfer the gratin to a wooden surface or folded towel to prevent cracking; let cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the gratin with a flat knife and, brush the top of the gratin with the remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream. Return the baking dish to the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the gratin finish browning in the receding heat for 30 minutes longer.