- 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream, minced garlic, half of the thyme leaves, salt, black pepper, and ground nutmeg over medium heat. Stir it occasionally until small bubbles start forming along the edges. Remove it from the heat, cover, and set aside to steep for 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse.
- While the cream is steeping, layer half of the sweet potato rounds in the greased baking dish, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle half of the shredded Gruyere cheese evenly over the sweet potato layer.
- Give the infused cream mixture a gentle stir and pour half of it over the sweet potatoes and cheese layer. The cream will seep into the layers, providing a luscious, creamy base.
- Layer the remaining sweet potato rounds on top, followed by the remaining Gruyere cheese. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the top, ensuring all the layers are evenly covered.
- Sprinkle the remaining thyme leaves over the top, adding a touch of freshness and elegance to the dish.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
- Once the Sweet Potatoes au Gratin is golden and irresistibly aromatic, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the dish to settle and the flavors to meld together beautifully.
- For an extra indulgent twist, try adding crispy bacon bits between the layers for a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.
- Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese such as sharp cheddar, fontina, or even blue cheese for a unique twist.
- If you’re a spice lover, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to the cream mixture for a subtle kick.
- To make this recipe vegetarian-friendly, simply substitute the Gruyere cheese with a high-quality vegetarian cheese alternative.
The magic of culinary exploration lies in the way we transform classic dishes into something surprisingly new and unforgettable. This Sweet Potatoes au Gratin recipe, with its perfect balance of sweet, savory, and creamy goodness, is certain to steal the center stage at your holiday dinner. So, gather your loved ones, share your own story surrounding this delightful creation, and watch as everyone savors each flavorful bite. Happy cooking!