On the picture of this mouth-watering gratin, my sister described, “It tastes of butter, cream, and gold!” I found this recipe through our excellent supermarket, Wegmans. It was tucked into the holiday edition of their magazine. It truly is a celebratory dish. There are as many nutritional motivations to prepare this as well as the sheer luxury of eating tender, deep-orange yam slices nearly simmered in velvety cream and sprinkled with cheese. The yams are an abundant source of vitamin A and their benefits are enhanced by adding a powerhouse fat like raw cream. Especially in the spring, when cows can feed on lush new grass, grass-fed raw cream provides a living delight of friendly bacteria, enzymes, and fat-soluble vitamins. With ingredients like the cream, raw NY cheese, and local Garnet yams I could easily eat this once a week and never feel the slightest regret for the unabashed richness of this gratin. I also love this for the simplicity of ingredients!
3 lbs. yams (Your basic yam works even better than the Garnet yams, the Garnet yams taste like candy to me. I think it’s better to not gild the lily here.)
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2-1 cup Gruyère, Gouda, or raw cheddar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Peel and slice yams. If you have a mandolin I’m sure it would make the slicing time much shorter. However, I have found a good knife does the job beautifully as well.
2. Mix cream and salt together in a large bowl. Coat the yam slices with cream.
3. Grease pan with butter and layer 1/3 of the yam slices into the pan.
4. Crumble, cut, or shred cheese and sprinkle 1/2 over the yam slices.
5. Add a second layer of yams and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese (or save a bit for the top!).
6. Layer on the last of the yams and pour the cream/salt mix over the layers.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Take it out to press the yams down with a spatula to allow the cream to flow over the top. Bake for 30 more minutes and repeat. Bake for an additional 40-45 minutes or until the yams are tender and the top layer is browned and bubbling.
Allow the gratin to rest 15 minutes before serving. Not that it’s possible in my family!
This is our Thanksgiving Gratin, the leftovers were also deliciously relished.