This seemingly rustic dish, known to some as potatoes dauphinoise, has many imitators. Some of the recipes start out with the potatoes in the saucepan with the milk and cream. They are then roughly tipped into an ovenproof dish to be quickly and unceremoniously baked. Making the dish this way shows a failure to understand the simple beauty that is gratin.
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Line an 28cm square baking tin or a shallow ovenproof dish with greaseproof paper. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices 2mm thick. In a saucepan heat the milk and cream.
- Chop the garlic and add to the saucepan with the thyme and salt and pepper. Arrange the potatoes in the dish, overlapping the slices and lightly seasoning each layer. About halfway through the process, pour over half the heated milk mixture, then continue layering with the remaining slices.
- Once completed, pour the remaining liquid over the potatoes and sprinkle liberally with the parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven until the potatoes are tender and the top golden brown - about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and serve it straight from the dish.