Potato Gratin

gratin potatoes

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Potato Gratin

serves 12 – 14

Potato gratin, gratin dauphinoise, potato bake. Whatever you prefer to call this dish, it’s bound to be sure-fired crowd pleaser. And given it’s flexibility from a prepare ahead standpoint, it’s also a winner for the cook.

Most spuds work well in this dish. My favourite are desiree. And I don’t bother to peel but by all means take the time if you prefer.

For the cheese, I’ve used a Swiss guryere with melts and browns well and has intense cheesy flavour, but cheddar would be great or jack or even parmesan.

1.2L (5 cups) heavy whipping cream (35% milk fat)
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
3kg (6lb) potatoes, scrubbed & finely sliced
250g (1/2 lb) guryere or other melting cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).

2. Heat cream, garlic and 2 cups water in a large saucepan until simmering. Season well.

3. Grease a very large baking or oven proof dish with olive oil. Layer potatoes evenly.

4. Pour hot cream mixture over the spuds then scatter with cheese.

5. Cover tightly with foil and bake covered for 1/2 hour.

6. Remove the foil and bake for another 1/2 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown.

Prepare Ahead

You could cook the whole dish and the refrigerate for a few days. It will need about 1/2 hour in the oven to warm back up.

Alternatively you could cook covered for 1/2 hour, remove from the oven for a while then finish the remaining 1/2 hour when you’re ready.

Variations for Different Serving Sizes

The cooking time may vary by +/- 20 minutes for the different serving sizes, but it’s mostly about how deep the potatoes are layered in the pan.

serves 6 -8 as a side
600mL (2 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream (35% milk fat)
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1.5kg (3lb) potatoes, scrubbed & finely sliced
125g (1/4 lb) guryere or other melting cheese, grated

serves 20 as a side
1.8L (2 quart / 7 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream (35% milk fat)
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
4.5kg (9lb) potatoes, scrubbed & finely sliced
375g (3/4 lb) guryere or other melting cheese, grated
this large serving may be best baked in 2 separate dishes.


dairy free – Replace the cream with light chicken or vegetable stock.

Problem Solving Guide

potatoes too crunchy – they just need longer in the oven. If the cheese is golden and starting to over brown, cover with foil or baking paper.

too watery – not enough of the mositure has been able to evaporate. Next time bake uncovered for longer, but for now, just use a spoon to get rid of the excess liquid before serving.

too dry – bake for longer with the cover on next time. For now, if the potatoes aren’t cooked yet, add a little boiling water. If the spuds are cooked, either warm up some more cream and pour over or let some butter melt into the hot potatoes.

too creamy – if you prefer a more waistline friendly option, don’t be tempted to replace the cream with milk as milk with curdle. Just reduce the amount of cream to suit your preference and replace with water.

Leftover Potential

Excellent. Reheats well in the oven or pan fry chunks for rustic potato cakes.

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