Potatoes au Gratin


    • 1-1/2 cups cream, full fat (Note 1)

    • 2 garlic cloves - minced

    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter , melted

    • 2.5 lb starchy potatoes , Russet, Sebago, Maris Piper (Note 2)

    • 1 tsp salt

    • 1/4 tsp pepper

    • 2-1/2 cups gruyere cheese (or mozzarella) , freshly grated yourself (Note 3)

    • 2 tsp thyme leaves , fresh (optional – but highly recommended)


    • Cream Mixture: Place butter, cream and garlic in a jug. Mix until combined.

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.

    • Slice potatoes: Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8"/3 mm thick. Or use a slicer!

    • Layer 1: Spread 1/3 of the potatoes in a baking dish (Note 3), then pour over 1/3 of the Cream Mixture, scatter with 1/3 of the salt, pepper and thyme. Sprinkle with 3/4 cups cheese.

    • Layers 2 & 3: Repeat for the 2nd and third layer, but do not finish with cheese on the top layer (will add later).

    • Cover & bake: Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 1 hr 15 min or until the potatoes in the middle are soft (use knife to test).

    • Top with cheese, bake again: Remove foil, top with cheese. Bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Stand 5 minutes before serving.


  1. Cream – any full fat cream works great here. Heavy / thickened or even a full fat pouring cream are all great. For a lighter version, use light fat, or half and half (or use 1/2 cream, half milk). But it won’t have the same rich mouthfeel. Don’t try this with just milk.

  2. Potatoes – Australia: Use Sebago (“dirt” potatoes, sold everywhere), US: Russet, UK: King Edward or Maris Piper OR any other starchy potatoes. Dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. Great all rounders like golden delight, coliban and red rascal are also great.

  3. Cheese – Gruyere is the best as it provides flavour and browns beautifully on top. Julia Childs uses gruyere. It’s quite expensive so for everyday purposes, mozzarella is an idea alternative but if you do, add an extra pinch of salt on each layer. Any other melting cheese will also work fine – Monterey Jack, cheddar and tasty are all cheeses I have used and love. Always best to grate your own as it melts better – store bought pre shredded has anti caking agent which prevents cheese melting as well as it should.

  4. Baking Dish Size – I use a 1.5L / 1.5 Qt / 6 cup, 7 x 11 x 2″ oval shape, or thereabouts but it’s full to the brim so a slightly larger one would be more ideal. A 26 cm / 11″ skillet also works great. A 20cm/8″ square pan is too small. Larger dish is fine – just means the potatoes au gratin isn’t as deep

  5. Make ahead - Near perfect for make ahead! The best way (in my experience) is hold back about 1/2 cup of the cream mixture. Bake covered in foil, then cool with foil on. Pour over reserved cream, top with cheese, cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate. Remove from fridge 1 hour before, reheat covered in foil in a 180C/350F oven for 20 – 30 min or until hot, then remove foil and bake until cheese is golden. To speed things up you can microwave it then pop it in the oven (this is dense so takes quite a while to reheat in the oven, depends on depth of baking dish you use).