This extra cheesy Potato Au Gratin recipe gets a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ with the addition of prosciutto and thinly sliced apples.
There are certain Thanksgiving traditions you just don’t mess with. At our house, it’s the Party Potatoes. Party potatoes are mashed potatoes on steroids. Take your standard fluffy white potatoes, whisk in some cream cheese and sour cream, spread them in a baking dish, and smother them in cheddar cheese. Then bake until the cheese is melted and golden and the whole thing is a bubbling mess of carbs.
That’s party potatoes.
And we have them EVERY year. It’s tradition. And it’s amazing.
Buuuuuut, this year I’m feeling rebellious. There’s a new potato dish in town and it’s giving Party Potatoes a run for their money.
It’s Potatoes and Apples Au Gratin with Skellig Cheddar Cheese, and hot dang if it isn’t good.
This is my first adventure into au gratin, and guys? It’s not nearly as fancy or difficult as it sounds. This is just really good, really simple, really comforting fare–covered in cheese and bits of prosciutto.
Good. Let’s break it down.
Thin slices of potatoes and apples. (A mandoline slicer can save your sanity and your patience, but if you don’t have one, a good ol’ knife will do ya just fine.)
Garlic. (Awwww yeah…things are already getting good).
Salt and pepper. (always).
Nutmeg. (Waaaaait, you thought nutmeg was only for pumpkin pie? No way! Nutmeg adds a great subtle depth to creamy sauces. Trust me, don’t skip it!)
Cream. (Go big or go home, baby).
Kerrygold’s Skellig Cheddar Cheese (It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s bold, it’s a teensy bit sweet. You’re gonna love it. Enough said.)
Prosciutto bits (Because it’s Thanksgiving and I splurged and HELLO crispy morsels of pork are totally necessary).
So how the heck do these simple ingredients create such a kick butt side dish?
It’s all about low and slow baking, baby. After the potatoes and apples are seasoned and layered in a baking dish, you gently pour the cream until they’re all covered up and cozy. Then you bake them for a good long while. And something amazing happens. The potatoes slurp up the cream and form this wonderfully thick, creamy, garlicky sauce. It’s almost like an Alfredo, but not on purpose. L-O-V-E.
Then there’s the cheese. Melty, browned cheese with those crispy edges that just beg you to sneak a little bite.
Guys, when your spoon cracks through this cheesy crust and plunges into the soft, creamy stacks of potatoes below? You’re going to flip. out.
I’m thinking since this dish is also covered in cheese I can probably slip it onto our Thanksgiving table without anybody noticing. It’s totally worth the risk.
A few notes on this recipe:
Next time, I’ll be slicing the potatoes a little thinner (about 1/8 inch) and the apples a little thicker (about 1/4 inch), so you can taste the apples a little more.
This is an incredibly versatile recipe. You can make it vegetarian friendly by leaving out the prosciutto, or sub in your favorite meat–ham, bacon, pancetta–pretty much anything that comes from a pig would be delicious in this. You can also add extra cheese in between the layers of potatoes (though you’ll want to reduce the salt if you do).
I used White on Rice Couple’s recommendations for cracking the crust and keeping the potatoes extra moist throughout the baking process. For a step by step tutorial with pictures, I recommend checking out their post!
What about you? What are the must have dishes on your Thanksgiving table?
Potatoes and Apples Au Gratin with Skellig Cheddar Cheese
- 4 lbs. potatoes (Russet, Yukon Gold, or Red Skins work), peeled and sliced thin
- 3 small apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons sea salt or Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 1/2-3/12 cups cream
- 2 cups shredded Skellig cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces prosciutto cubes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the garlic cloves in half then rub one of the cut sides all over the inside of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (or similar sized casserole dish), then mince the cloves.
- In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, apples, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Place a layer of potatoes at the bottom of the pan, followed by a thin layer of the apples. Repeat, rotating the potatoes and apples, until the pan is full.
- Slowly pour the cream over the mixture until it covers the potatoes if you're pressing them down with a spoon. If you're like me, and you filled the dish a leeeetle too full, I recommend placing it on a baking sheet before slipping it into the oven.
- Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes then remove, and use the back of a spoon to gently crack the surface, allowing the cream to re-moisten any potatoes that are sticking out the top. Return to the oven, and continue to bake for another 20 minutes, then crack the crust again. Place the potatoes back in the oven a final time, bake for 2 minutes, then remove from the oven. Don't crack the crust this time! Most of the cream should be absorbed and the crust should be starting to brown.
- If you're making this dish ahead of time, allow the potatoes to cool, cover, and refrigerate over night. Otherwise, sprinkle the cheese and prosciutto on top of the crust, and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the dish is bubbling and the cheese is nice and browned.
- If you made the dish ahead of time, simply remove it from the fridge and uncover while you're preheating the oven, then cover in cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted and browned.
- Allow to stand for about 10 minutes to set up before serving.
Recipe by Neighborfood
Note: I’m entering this recipe into a contest hosted by Kerrygold. I received free Kerrygold cheeses for participating. All opinions are my own.