Amazing Potatoes (au Gratin—no Cheese!)

Old Potatoes

Old Potatoes

I spotted this recipe while blog browsing.  I was in search of one final potato recipe for the last of 2010’s harvest and this looked so inviting.  It came with the far more romantic name of Pommes à la Dauphinoise (which I will never remember, even after writing about it), and caught my eye for its simplicity and distinction.

The original recipe can be found here (from real chef Camille Malmquist)—I modified it slightly as follows:

Potatoes au Gratin


  • 5-7 medium potatoes, cut into 1/8 inch slices (note that smaller potatoes can be sliced lengthwise to achieve larger rounds)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1- 1 1/2 c cream or half & half
  • 1/8 -1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 t butter


  • Rub butter around inside of 2 1/2 qt casserole
  • Arrange a layer of potatoes in bottom of casserole
  • Top with some of the garlic

  • Continue layering until garlic and potatoes are gone
  • Mix salt and pepper with 1 c cream.
  • Pour on top of potatoes
  • Add more cream if needed—cream should reach 3/4 of the way up the potato layers (they cook down some)
  • Bake covered at 350 about an hour or until tender.
  • Remove cover to let brown (I put the convection on for this) and cook a few minutes longer
Potatoes Gratin


The dish was rich and creamy with the muted essence of garlic throughout.  Absolutely delicious, I couldn’t believe it didn’t have cheese.  After rave reviews, I broke my seasonal eating rules and ordered more potatoes to do it again—soon.

23 thoughts on “Amazing Potatoes (au Gratin—no Cheese!)

  1. Grapefruit

    First Camille, now you. I might have to lift that potato ban & make these potatoes au gratin that keeps popping up in my google reader 😉

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  3. Louise

    Oh yes, a classic indeed. And one of my favorites. I’ve always preferred it without cheese. Or is that Pommes Anna?

    Thanks for sharing, Inger…

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I actually looked up the definition of au gratin which I used to think meant “with cheese” but Wikipedia said it meant topped with a browned crust sometimes from cheese but also from breadcrumbs, butter, eggs, etc. Since the browning isn’t really much of a crust, this may be stretching the definition but I wanted to use something people understand. Also not sure it is much healthier than the cheese since I make it with cream 😉 but worth it I think!

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      The cream bubbles up quite a bit once it really gets cooking, so I don’t know how well a standard glass baking pan would work–it might overflow. I usually go with two casseroles if I need to make more. I have used different sized casseroles and never really measured for the increases. I just snugged the potatoes in and then made sure the cream went about 3/4 of the way to the top of the potatoes. Hope this helps.

  4. inter262

    I have also fallen hard for this recipe although I was informed to use heavy cream and half n half more hc than
    h n h, garlic on the top yum I will have to try. I too go alittle bonkers with the potatoe planting and have boxes sitting on the deck well in to winter. Thanks for the 2 great ideas.

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I suppose that if you use enough cream, this may be as unhealthy as using cheese, but it is a delicious recipe in any case (though I do use grass fed cream so that helps). My mother used to do something similar with milk I believe–less rich but we liked it as kids. This is one of the first recipes I make when I open up my potato cages and harvest!

  5. Charlotte L. Wilson

    I think I’ve found my main side dish to my Xmas ham, this year … I’d been meaning to look up some of the ‘old-school’ cheeseless gratins (supposed to be one of the great challenges a chef – or home cook! – to face, making something w/o cheese taste cheesy!), and this is not only that, but looks dead easy!

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      You know, when you consider that the main ingredient in cheese is milk/cream, it isn’t quite as surprising that this tastes as rich as it does! It sounds like you have a good start on your Christmas planning, Charlotte!

  6. Charlotte L. Wilson

    It was going to be a toss up between my baked mac n cheese, or this … I like this better! ^_^

  7. Kathy

    This looks really good, Inger. I think I shall try it, but will have to use almond milk (vegan) instead of the cream. It might not be so luscious, but I suspect we’ll think it’s heaven. 🙂

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      My mother made something similar to this with skim milk when we were growing up and I remember thinking it was great–even with far less fat. Just make sure not to use the sweetened almond milk 😉

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