Fall Squash, Apple, Potato & Comte Cheese Gratin

“The apples and squash help keep this dish from getting too heavy as opposed to traditional potato dishes.”

By / Photography By Chris Rov Costa | November 01, 2016

Ingredients

Cheese Sauce:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup comte cheese, plus a couple of ounces to garnish
  • Salt, to taste
Gratin:
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛th inch thick slices
  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, and cut into ⅛th inch thick slices
  • Several shakes of salt
  • 2 medium tart apples such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Preparation

To make the cheese sauce, simmer milk, garlic and bay leaf gently until garlic is tender. Remove garlic and bay leaf. Smash garlic to a paste and add back to milk. Cook butter and flour over low heat, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes to make a roux. Whisk or blend roux into the milk mixture and bring to a low simmer for 20 minutes. Use a heavy bottom stainless steel pot, (not aluminum) and be mindful not to let the bottom scorch.

Preheat oven to 325° F. To assemble gratin: Coat 8×12 inch baking dish with butter. In a bowl, toss sliced potatoes and squash with salt to and let sit for 5-10 minutes. With a clean towel, pat dry the salted potatoes and squash, then taste the raw potato for seasoning. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Combine potato mixture, apples, leek with 3 cups of the cheese sauce in a bowl and toss to coat evenly. If it seems a bit dry add more sauce to coat. Pack the mixture into the baking dish and gently press it down to so you have a smooth surface. Top with reserved comte cheese and some fresh thyme leaves. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and tender when pierced with a knife.

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

Cheese Sauce:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup comte cheese, plus a couple of ounces to garnish
  • Salt, to taste
Gratin:
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛th inch thick slices
  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, and cut into ⅛th inch thick slices
  • Several shakes of salt
  • 2 medium tart apples such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
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