Let’s talk about everything that is warm, cozy and comfy like this creamy butternut dauphinoise aka butternut squash au gratin. This time of the year a bit of warming up is in order and that’s how this dish came to be. It provided all the comfort of creamy potatoes au gratin without the carbs! Because, you know, Italy is still in the picture and only 3 weeks away. Dauphinoise comes from the Dauphine region of France and is made from sliced and layered potatoes cooked in butter, heavy creamy and garlic. The sweetness of butternut squash complimented by nutmeg and countered by garlic was no match for plain potatoes. The flavour was far richer and more complex. It paired beautifully with roast beef and tender stem broccoli that I served last night. I hope you will enjoy this butternut dauphinoise as much as me and my family did!
300ml pot double cream
100ml whole milk
2 bay leaves
a few thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, crushed
whole nutmeg, for grating
1 tbsp salted butter, for greasing
1 large butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1.4kg unpeeled to give about 1.1kg prepared flesh)
50g mature Double Gloucester or other hard cheese
Put the cream, milk, bay, a sprig of thyme, the garlic and ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 mins. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a large baking dish with the butter, then layer up the butternut squash, adding seasoning and a few thyme leaves as you go. Pour over the infused cream, leaving the bay and thyme on the top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 mins. Uncover, press the squash as far under the level of the liquid as you can, then scatter with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30 mins more until the butternut is tender and the whole dish is bubbling and golden. Let butternut Dauphinoise stand for 10 mins or so before serving.