Regina's savory sweet potato gratin

If you love sweet potatoes unencumbered by sugary stuff, you'll adore this savory gratin, created by my friend Regina Schrambling. Use a mandoline, if you have one -- it's the quickest and easiest way to slice the raw sweet potatoes. When I'm making this for Thanksgiving, I usually prepare it to the point before you pour on the cream and hold it -- covered with plastic wrap -- until just before I'm ready to bake. 

Serves 8 - 10.


 1 - 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

4 pounds sweet potato, peeled

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish.

2. Use a mandoline or sharp knife to cut the sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices in overlapping layers in the dish, seasoning each layer generously with salt and pepper.

3. Pour the cream into a small bowl or pitcher, add the thyme and stir to combine. Pour the mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes, making sure all the surfaces are coated. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes.

4. Remove the foil and continue baking 15 or 20 minutes longer, until the potatoes are soft and caramelized.