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Feb 13, 2008 03:46 PM

gratin tips?

I am planning to use a james beard recipe from epicurious. I have heavy cream to use up and the reviews were good.

I was going to warm the cream and add the salt in attempt to get the salt right. I always add to much or too little to potatoes. Should I over-salt the cream so the final product is dead on? Any tips on getting the gratin layers to fuse? And in this recipe, do you think the water bath is really necessary?

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  1. I either salt as I go building layers of cheese and potatoes, or have another recipe which uses white sauce which is salted. They both work. I have never used a water bath (but be warned, the pan will need to be soaked when you are done!) I have also never done an all cream gratin... they seem plenty rich with a mixture of milk and half and half!

    1. You link did not take me to a recipe. This is what I do. Thinly slice potatoes, about one per person. Thinly slice an onion. Have some grated cheese--gruyere is nice, but you can use anything. butter your dish. scatter a layer of onions. Salt and pepper, dot with butter. Add a layer of potatoes: place slices so they overlap by half. salt and pepper, dot with butter, sprinkle with cheese--as much or as little as you would like. you want it fairly tightly packed. spoon on a bit of cream. repeat, starting with the onions. I like at least 3 layers, but I often only get 2. End with potato. I like parm and cheese on top. Pour in enough cream so you can just see it on the edge of the pan. Bake at 350 to 400 for 30 mins to an hour, until hot and bubbly and brown on top. I don't heat the cream and I don't use a water bath. My potatoes slide apart when it is undercooked or the potatoes are thick. It still tastes great, though. I find it to be a very easy and forgiving dish.

      1. I typically salt as I go along. I've never used a water bath, but maybe someone else can help with that.

        Also, get an inexpensive Japanese mandoline if you don't already have one. I should have bought one ages ago - perfect for times like this!