This is so often served in restaurants as a gooey sludge that seems to have hung around too long. But home-made, straight from the oven, it is truly one of the great classics. I know it does seem extravagant to use 5 fl oz (150 ml) cream for 1 lb (450 g) potatoes, but I would forego a pudding with cream once in a while in order to justify it. And although cheese is sometimes added to this, I think it masks the potato flavour too much.
|1 lb (450 g) good-quality potatoes (King Edward or Desirée)|
|1 small clove garlic, crushed|
|5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream|
|5 fl oz (150 ml) milk|
|freshly grated nutmeg|
|1 oz (25 g) butter|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).|
|Oven temperatures and Conversions|
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|You will also need an 8½ inch (21 cm) oval, shallow gratin dish, well buttered.|
First, peel the potatoes and slice them very, very thinly (a wooden mandolin is excellent for this operation, if you have one), then plunge the potato slices into a bowl of cold water and swill them round and round to get rid of some of the starch. Now dry them very thoroughly in a clean tea cloth. Then in the gratin dish arrange a layer of potato slices, a sprinkling of crushed garlic, pepper and salt and then another layer of potatoes and seasoning.
Now mix the cream and milk together, pour it over the potatoes, sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg, then add the butter in flecks over the surface and bake on the highest shelf in the oven for 1½ hours.
_This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course_.
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