I am exhausted.
Project Food Blog has been, and continues to be, intense, I’ve had friends in from out of the country, I have four family birthdays coming up, and I am still working three part-time jobs. On top of it all looms the specter of Thanksgiving and all the preparation that entails. I am doing my best not to think about it too closely and a good distraction is my kitchen. This gratin was born out of my efforts to escape the end-of-year crush with cheesy, creamy, carbohydrate laden comfort. It was, if I do say so myself, a success.
The trick to making this dish easy to prepare is to slice your sweet potato as thinly as possible. I used a mandolin to achieve nearly paper thin slices, but if you do not have one you can slice the potato as thinly as your knife can manage. If your slices are thicker than 1/8 th of an inch just par cook the potatoes so a paring knife meets the slightest bit of resistance in the center of the slices. You can use any cheeses you prefer in this dish. I happened to have sharp cheddar, which pairs so well with apple, but gruyère, fontina, or even a pepper-jack would be lovely.
Sweet Potato, Apple and Caramelized Onion Gratin Serves 8
1 medium sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup caramelized onions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Heat the oven to 375F and spray a 1-quart gratin dish with non-stick spray.
In a small bowl mix the cornstarch into the cream, then blend in the sour cream. Set aside.
In another small bowl mix together the salt, cinnamon, coriander, and smoked paprika until evenly mixed. Set aside.
In the prepared gratin dish layer 1/3 of the sweet potatoes, apples, and caramelized onions. Dust with 1/3 of the spice mixture then add 1/3 of the cheese and pour over 1/3 of the cream mixture. Repeat two more times.
Bake the gratin covered in foil for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, our until the gratin is bubbling and the cheese has browned.