Unabashed Scalloped Potatoes

My dad calls these "artery strengthening" and they've become a Thanksgiving essential. Since this recipe is about letting a handful of flavors shine, I highly recommend going organic/premium for your ingredients.

This makes a large recipe, so you'll need either one enormous pan (5-1/2 quart) or a couple smaller ones—deep/lasagna style is best. Or you can halve it (never done so myself). You'll also really appreciate a food processor.

Source: Ann Ray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixing bowl (preferably one with spout), combine:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (approx 1 cup; if extra-strong, reduce amount)
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg

If you're in a healthy mood, you can just use half-and-half. Do not use more whipping cream—there is such a thing as too rich.


  • 7-8oz Gruyere cheese (cut off rind)

Slice ~3-4mm thick:

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled

Layer ingredients in pan(s), beginning with a bit of the cream mixture and ending with some of the cheese on top (usually end up with 2-3 layers). Note the spices tend to settle in the mixture, so stir often, and if you're using multiple pans alternate pouring to distribute evenly.

Cover with foil, and cook on bottom rack for 30 minutes (browns bottom).

After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350, remove foil, and shift to upper rack. Small containers may only need 15-20 more minutes, while a single large pan could require 45-60 minutes more—test with a fork every 10 minutes or so when it starts looking promising.

Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

If you're in a rush, there are two ways to shorten cooking time. First, smaller pans cook substantially faster. Second, if you have microwave-safe dishes, you can greatly reduce the oven time by nuking until they start to bubble. On Thanksgiving, I usually have one quick cook dish which goes in after the turkey finishes, and one larger which emerges later for seconds, thirds, leftovers.

Apologies for the sketchy cooking time on this! Transferring from a scribbled piece of paper, and not entirely sure of my timing notes—I figured vague was better than wrong.

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