Celery root, potato, and pear gratin
We are looking to do this gratin from Spike Mendelsohn and had a question for anyone who has ever used celery root in a gratin. His technique involves slicing the celery root and potatos a quarter-inch thick, then pan roasting in a single layer for about 10 minutes per batch. As we are looking to double this recipe, the amount of time needed to pan roast these veggies + baking off the gratin would be considerable.
I was wondering if this step of 'par-cooking' was necessary because if they went in raw, the layer of pear on top would overcook by the time the potato and celery root were finished? I noticed that other celery root gratin recipes that included other fruits like apples always involved a step of cooking the celery root and potato before adding it to the casserole dish(even saw one that recommended steaming the CR and potato for 5 mins.)
Never cooked with this vegetable before and would love any feedback. Thanks in advance and Happy Thanksgiving!
As you won't serve individual slices of pear but rather cut pieces of the gratin (or scoop with a spoon), I don't think it matters if the pear is slightly overcooked. Maybe choose a pear which is not too soft to start with?
Straight potato and celeriac gratin works very well when I cut the vegetables in thin slices and put in everything raw - I have never added a pear.
Some people like to start their gratin off on the stove-top until the cream bubbles, which would give the bottom layers a head start.
Celeriac (Celery Root) as its called in the UK seems to cook a little faster than Potato in my Opinion. but both will take longer than the pears - which, as you say, is probably why they are cooked a bit beforehand.
In practice I'd say the celery and potato take about the same amount of time if similar thicknesses. Perhaps you could par-boil the root vegetables in large peices. although they might get a bit wet. I think you have a problem.