In our experience, most recipes for scalloped potatoes take hours of work yet still produce unevenly cooked potatoes in a heavy, curdled sauce.
Not what you want at Thanksgiving.
This version is faster than most and produces layer upon layer of thinly sliced, tender potatoes, creamy sauce, and nicely browned, cheesy crust.
Simmering the potatoes briefly in heavy cream and milk before baking cuts the cooking time significantly while also eliminating the risk of raw potatoes in the finished dish.
A sprinkling of cheddar cheese and 20 minutes in the oven were enough to produce a nice, browned, cheesy crust.
America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (using a food processor is best)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until it turns soft and begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add potatoes, cream, milk, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer.
Cover, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain light simmer, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (when a knife can be slipped into center of a potato slice with some resistance), about 15 minutes.
Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Transfer mixture to 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake until cream has thickened and top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes. Serves 8-10.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 462 calories, 34 g total fat, 21 g saturated fat, 119 mg cholesterol, 577 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 9 g protein.