Try one of these variations: Place browned bacon or sauteed mushrooms between potato layers, top with Gruyere cheese after removing foil, or add fresh thyme leaves to cream mixture.
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- Butter, room temperature, for baking dish
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub a 2-quart baking dish with garlic, then lightly butter. Layer potatoes in dish, overlapping slightly.
In a medium saucepan, combine cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pinch of nutmeg; bring to a simmer. Pour enough cream mixture into dish to just cover potatoes; cover dish with foil. Bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with a paring knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until top of gratin is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.