Au Gratin Potatoes (with Eggs)

This recipe relies on the eggs to form the filling.  The egg and milk and cream mixture sets up as a custard.  The casserole cuts neatly into squares or wedges for serving.

It is important that you use starchy, Russet-type potatoes.  This can be made without the cheese for scalloped potatoes.

 This is a basic recipe.  Other ingredients may be added as desired though this is a good dish in its basic form.  You may add any of the following ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  •  1/2 pound bacon, crisply cooked and snipped into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups ham cut into small cubes

Basic recipe

7 to 8 cups of sliced potatoes, 1/8-inch thick
about 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
about 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
pinch nutmeg
2 to 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup grated cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

  1. Peel and slice the potatoes to 1/8-inch thick.  Use a mandolin or other cutting tool so that the potatoes are of uniform thickness.
  2. Place a layer of potatoes in the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and a very small amount of nutmeg.  Sprinkle with a portion of the grated cheese.   Repeat with additional layers until the potatoes and this portion of the cheese is used.
  3. Place the milk in a saucepan and heat to a simmer.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks and cream together.  Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot milk while stirring with a whisk.
  5. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the layered potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the casserole.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but still firm when poked with a fork.

Baking Tip!  About Baking Dishes

We baked these casseroles in three different types of dishes: Dark metal, clear glass, and opaque decorative glass.  The type of baking dishes affects baking times.  A dark metal dish bakes fastest.  A clear glass or off-colored baking dish is next.  A light colored, opaque glass dish is the slowest.

Baking times seemed to vary about ten minutes from one type of pan to the next.

As important as baking dishes are, the thickness of the casserole has even more impact.  A shallow casserole bakes much faster than one that fills the whole pan.