When you combine potatoes, cream, cheese, garlic and butter, you just can’t go wrong. These individual size portions made in a muffin tin – from Nagi at Recipe Tin Eats – are great as a side with Alaskan Jack’s Salmon OR as finger food for a party! Just 85 calories per piece and they’re freezer friendly too.

PREP TIME: 15 minutesMini-Potato-Gratin-Stacks
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
MAKES: 12 stacks

INGREDIENTS
Oil spray
1.6lb potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup cream (see Note 4)
½ tsp salt
Black pepper
1 Cup grated melting cheese (I used cheddar)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves OR 1 Tbsp dried thyme

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Spray a standard 12 hole muffin tin with oil.
  • Peel then slice potatoes into thin slices around 1/10″ thick.
  • Place butter and garlic in a microwave proof cup or bowl, then melt in 30 second bursts.
  • Add cream, salt and pepper into the butter. Stir to dissolve the salt.
  • Place potato slices into the muffin tin so they go halfway up the muffin tin holes. Try to match by size to make them into neat stacks.
  • Drizzle each potato stack with ½ tsp of cream mixture then sprinkle with half the thyme.
  • Sprinkle HALF the cheese over the potato stacks.
  • Top with remaining potato slices. Drizzle with remaining cream mixture and remaining thyme.
  • Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake without foil for 10 minutes or until golden and the potato is soft.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before removing. Use a tablespoon or butter knife to help scope them out. (Note 3)
  • NOTES
    1. You need to use starchy potatoes as they breakdown when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), Dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. In the US, a great all rounder to use is Russet which is one of the most widely used potatoes in the US.

    2. Fantastic for making ahead! Bake per recipe then either freeze them (defrost before reheating) or keep them in the refrigerator. Them pop them in a 350° F oven for 10 minutes just to heat through.

    3. Spraying the muffin tin + the butter and cream helps keep the gratin stacks from sticking to the muffin tin. Also, the muffin tin I use is non-stick. If your muffin tin is not non-stick, spray it generously with oil before putting the potato in to ensure it slips out easily! Because starchy potatoes are used for this recipe, they breakdown and become soft so they sort of bond together which helps keep these stacks upright. Some might slide slightly when you take them out but the resting time helps “set” them.

    4. Any pourable cream is fine though thickened / heavy cream will yield creamiest result because they have a higher fat content.

    5. Making neat stacks like pictured – I chose the potato slices carefully for the purpose of the hero shots in this post. The potatoes were round and long, and I chose the pieces to make a couple of really neat ones very carefully! But in reality, most of them were a bit lopsided and not perfectly cylindrical. They look rustic and fabulous! To make super neat ones, use a cutter.

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