This is a richly indulgent potato dish that you deserve every now and again, but not if you are on a calory-controlled diet. It’s so good you may not be able to resist it, but remember – life is for living, and self-denial is not always good for you!
Grease an ovenproof dish with butter. Lightly sauté one onion in a small pan. Take some waxy potatoes, Desiree being a good example. Peel them and slice into thin coins, but not so thin that they disintegrate. Blanch them in boiling salted water for 2 minutes max, then plunge them into cold water to stop them cooking. Layer potato and onion in the ovenproof dish, topping each layer with black pepper and grated nutmeg.
Meanwhile, heat a pint of milk and roughly half a pint of cream. Add a couple of crushed cloves of garlic, and a sprig of thyme if there is one to hand. Add a pinch of sea salt, grind some black pepper and some fresh nutmeg into the pan and bring slowly towards boiling point. Mix a little milk and cornflour and stir into the mixture, off the heat. When smooth and thick, remove the thyme and garlic, then pour over the potato mixture. If you like, grate a little gruyere over the top.
Bake in a moderate oven (I use the bottom of the roasting oven of the Aga, but typically 180c will do the job fine) for about an 1-1.5 hours, though monitor closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. Serve with grilled meat or fish. Divine! 🙂