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Magical French Potato Cake + Garlic Creme Fraiche Recipe

This recipe is another classic holiday meal dish. Rich, decadent and as Prue Leith would say: definitely worth the calories. This recipe was found on Food52, shared by Leith Devine. This is a long day, or two day process. Read directions before you commit. This is a good candidate to prepare in advance, refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Garlic Creme Fraiche:

The Ingredients:

• 2 cups heavy cream (organic, avoid ultra pasteurized if possible)

• 1 clove garlic

• 3 tablespoons buttermilk (organic)

The Process:

Put two cups of heavy cream into a heavy bottomed sauce pan, add garlic clove. Cook over a very low heat until cream is just warmed. Remove garlic clove. Cool cream, place in glass jar. Add buttermilk and stir until combined. Cover with cheesecloth or other breathable cloth. Leave on counter for 12-24 hours util creme is thick. Cover with lid and refrigerate for up to 10 days.

Magical French Potato Cake:

The Ingredients:

• 6 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold, Huckleberry Gold or any waxy potato)

• 1 1/2 cup garlic creme fraiche

• 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

• 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme

• 1 teaspoon high quality salt

• 1 teaspoon pepper (white pepper is recommended for esthetic purposes)

The Process:

• Peel the potatoes (optional), slice evenly and thinly, about 1/8". A mandolin is useful for this step.

• Butter a large pie plate or casserole dish. Arrange slices until the bottom is covered, spread 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche over the potatoes. Evenly sprinkle: 1 ounce of grated Gruyere, 1 teaspoon of thyme, one pinch of salt and two turns of the pepper grinder.

• Repeat process, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap. Weigh down with a heavy pan, add cans or some other weight to the top. Refrigerate for 6 - 12 hours

• Remove from refrigerator to allow pie dish to warm.

• Preheat oven to 375F.

• Remove cans and weights. Cover the top layer of potatoes with 3/4 cup creme fraiche. Sprinkle with the remainder of thyme and Gruyere.

• Place in oven for 25-ish minutes. Checking to make sure that the creme fraiche develops a rich brown crust without burning around the edges.

• After the 25 minute bake, lower the oven to 350 and cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, checking for tender potatoes. Remove foil and allow the Magical French Potato Cake cooling time until you can cut into wedges.

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