French Potato Gratin
This rich and creamy Pommes Dauphinois AKA French Potato Gratin is the king of potato casseroles! Kissed with thyme and topped with nutty Gruyere cheese, this gratin is perfect for holidays, Sunday family dinners, and more. Move over scalloped potatoes!!
I’m usually lazy when it comes to adding potatoes to the menu. Baked or sliced and fried are my fallback methods. But some meals call for a more gourmet treat, like this Cheesy Potato Casserole!
Why You Must Make
- It’s rich and creamy, flavored with garlic and a touch of thyme.
- Dorie Greenspan created this au gratin potatoes recipe, which guarantees deliciousness!
- Thinly sliced potatoes are bathed in cream and topped with a generous sprinkle of Gruyere cheese. It’s best in small quantities, even though you’ll want seconds and thirds!
- Kitchen Staples – Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heavy Cream – 36% butterfat. Don’t think about the calories. as this is what makes this potato gratin so fabulous!
- Garlic Cloves – Peel and mince (or use a garlic press)
- Potatoes – Peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (I use Yukon gold or russets)
- Fresh Thyme – Chopped or minced. You may use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, but fresh is nice for special occasions.
- Whole Milk – Optional, if you need more liquid in the dish (you’ll want some liquid to peek out between the potatoes, but not cover them).
- Gruyère Cheese – Grated
This is a rich, satisfying cheesy potato casserole that’s worthy of any holiday or dinner party! Here are a few tips for making it perfect every time.
- PRO-Tip: Aim to cut all your potatoes the same thickness. Dorie, the cookbook author, suggests 1/8-inch thick. This ensures they’ll all be cooked and perfectly tender at the same time.
- Use a mandoline or a benriner to make the slicing more consistent. Make sure to use a handguard so you don’t cut yourself!
- PRO-Tip: Place a sheet pan under the casserole dish when baking. Nothing worse than having to clean burnt-on food from the bottom of your oven when a baking dish overflows! I like to line the baking dish with foil, too, for easy cleanup!
- Use a knife to check the potatoes for doneness. Pierce a few different potatoes to see if your knife goes in easily. Any resistance and the dish needs more cooking time.
- Let the dish rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the steaming cheesy cream cool and thicken a bit.
- You may not want to mention the amount of cream when you serve this to friends and family. This French Potato Gratin is definitely a special occasion dish. And an exquisite one at that. Just watch your portion sizes!
- You can add sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli or spinach, or even bits of ham to this pommes dauphinois.
Frequently Asked Questions
A gratin, gratinée or all gratinata is any dish topped with cheese or buttery bread crumbs. It is usually baked in a shallow “gratin” dish that provides more surface area so that there’s plenty of crispy topping.
Nutty, slightly sweet Swiss Gruyere is best. But you can also substitute another Swiss cheese like Emmental, or even domestic Swiss cheese in a pinch. White Cheddar could also be used if there’s no Swiss cheese available.
Waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes are preferred as they hold their shape well and don’t absorb as much liquid as a russet potato.
Yes, you can assemble your gratin in the morning as long as you wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. If the potatoes get exposed to air, they will oxidize and turn an unsightly gray color. They will taste fine, but not look their best. Make sure to bring them out of the fridge about a half hour before you want to bake them to take some of the chill off. They may need an extended baking time.
Your gratin will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if covered well with plastic wrap. According to Dorie, the leftovers will lose some of its creaminess
Some sources say potato casseroles can freeze well for up to 3 months if covered first with plastic, then with foil. Potatoes, though, can get watery when defrosted. And cheese sauces are known to separate after freezing and defrosting. It’s worth a try, but don’t count on your leftover potato casserole to be good as new after defrosting.
You May Also Like:
- Crispy Cheese and Bacon Potatoes from Barefeet in the Kitchen
- Cheesy Potato Galette
- Hasselback Potatoes with Parmesan and Thyme
- Easy Puffed Potato Casserole (don’t tell anyone, but I use Instant Potato Flakes in this!)
- Hasselback Potato Casserole
- Plus, find more recipes to round out your meals in my Side Dish Recipes.
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- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ¼ pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into ⅛-inch-thick rounds (I use Yukon gold or russets)
- 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Whole milk, if needed
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- Preheat to 350°. Generously butter 2-quart baking dish.
- Combine cream and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and remove from heat.
- Arrange ⅓ of potato rounds, slightly overlapping, in the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Pour ½ cup garlic cream over. Repeat layering 2 more times with remaining potato, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic cream.
- Pour the remaining garlic cream over, then ¼ cup milk. Sprinkle cheese over the surface.
- Bake gratin until golden on top and potatoes are very tender when a sharp knife is inserted, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (cover with foil if the top starts browning too quickly).
- Let the potatoes rest 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
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