Potato Gratin (German Kartoffelgratin)

Potato Gratin (German Kartoffelgratin)

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 110 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
613 Calories
36g Fat
61g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 613
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 23g 113%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 500mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 15g
Calcium 279mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you have ever eagerly anticipated the potato gratin at a restaurant or a friend's house only to be confronted with an angry mass of gray, underdone potatoes, this is a recipe for you. We potato gratin lovers have to band together to teach the world about the true meaning of potatoes cooked in cream and salt. They have to bake for over an hour, the cream must be abundant, the potatoes must be layered semi-vertically and staggered, and fresh herbs and pepper only, please.

This recipe can be scaled up or down if needed.

Ingredients

  • 6 lb. potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold are fine)
  • 2 to 3 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • Pinch black pepper (or to taste, freshly ground)
  • 1 to 2 c. grated cheese (4 to 8 oz. such as Emmentaler or Gruyere)
  • Optional: marjoram or other herbs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Potato Gratin (German Kartoffelgratin) ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch pan.

    buttered baking pan

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Peel the potatoes and slice by hand 1/8 inch thick. (Do not do this in the food processor, since they slice too thin.)

    peeled and sliced potatoes on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Line up the potatoes in rows across the back of the pan, not flat in the bottom. They should sit reclining and the rows should be staggered, like at a movie theater. Alternate slices of different potatoes in the same row, and make sure each slice has been separated from its sister slice (make sure all slices have broken contact with each other, otherwise they cannot absorb the cream).

    potatoes in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  5. When the pan is getting full, you can push the rows back to a vertical position and fit more potatoes into the pan.

    potatoes in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Fill the pan one-half to two-thirds with cream, pouring over the potatoes. Salt (I start with one teaspoon) and pepper. You might want to sprinkle a little marjoram on it, fresh or dried, too.

    cream and spices added to the potatoes in the baking pan

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  7. Bake in a preheated oven for one hour, then sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a fork.

    Potato Gratin (German Kartoffelgratin) in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Tips

  • The baking time varies with the type of potato, the elevation where you live and how hot your oven really is. It has always taken about 90 minutes for me, yet so many cookbooks say 45 minutes, it burns me up.
  • ​This is not a low-fat food, but it does not work very well with milk, so maybe you will make it once or twice a year as a special treat. You may also leave off the cheese if you want.
  • You may cover the casserole with foil in the middle of the baking time if it is becoming too brown. Remove it before you add the cheese.

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