2poundsrusset potatoespeeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/2cupshredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2cupgrated Parmesanplus more for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan, heat up the cream gently with the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
While the cream is heating, butter a casserole dish.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaves and thyme from the cream.
Coat the bottom of the dish with a small amount of cream. Pour the remaining heated cream into a large bowl with the potato slices. Mix gently to coat the potatoes. Then select an approach for assembling.
Option 1: Rustic approach. Sprinkle the Parmesan & Cheddar over the potatoes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Mix to gently incorporate. Spoon the potatoes into the prepared dish. Level out the potatoes for uniform cooking time. Pour the remaining cream at the bottom of the bowl over the top. Top with more Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, but poke holes in the foil for the steam to escape. Bake for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Option 2: Controlled approach. Create a base layer of potatoes slightly overlapping in the prepared casserole dish. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan & Cheddar cheese. (Do not cover potatoes completely with cheese or it will be oily! Just a gentle sprinkle of cheese on each layer will do.) Spoon a bit of cream over potatoes using your judgement on portioning for each layer. Repeat (about 4 layers?) layering potatoes, seasoning, cheeses and cream, ending with pouring any remaining cream over the top. Top with more Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, but poke holes in the foil for the steam to escape. Bake for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
This can be made in one casserole dish or in individual gratin dishes.