Published February 15, 2003.
Thinly sliced potatoes layered with cream and baked until they are bubbling and browned are a classic accompaniment to a ham or roast beef. But how to minimize the cooking time yet still produce perfectly cooked potatoes in a smooth, lightly thickened cream sauce?
Scalloped potatoes can occupy the oven for over two hours and still produce unevenly cooked potatoes in a heavy, curdled sauce.
We wanted layers of thinly sliced, tender potatoes, creamy sauce,
and a nicely browned, cheesy crust. And we wanted to minimize the cooking time.
Don't use flour to thicken the sauce (it will be pasty) but instead rely on heavy cream lightened with a little whole milk. To cut the cooking time, simmer the potatoes briefly in the cream and then dump the whole the mixture in a baking dish. Use russet potatoes for the best texture and flavor, and slice them thin so they form neat layers.list of recipes