Like any gratin worth its name, this is very rich and sweet from the apples and sweet potatoes. And like most savory, apple-based dishes, it is very good with sausage, which is how I served it. It does take a little time to assemble, about 45 minutes, but once you've put it in the oven you'll have an hour or so to leave it undisturbed. It also makes it a very good Sunday supper, as it cooks while you pay bills, catch up on television, or pad around the house in pajamas. Once it comes out of the oven, you can sit down to your rich winter meal, staving off that impending Monday-morning feeling.
Serves 2, with leftovers
(adapted from Dan Barber)
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 pounds tart apples (about 3 or 4 fist-sized apples)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk (don't be tempted to substitute something lower in fat; if you do, the resulting liquid will separate)
• 2 teaspoons salt
•1 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• large pinch ground nutmeg
• 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 or 4 large ones)
•1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1/2 cup panko or fresh bread crumbs
Peel and core the apples, then quarter them and slice thinly. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into ¼-inch-thick rounds.