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Fool proof dauphinoise please

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Me and my friends are 'doing lunch' 'credit crunch' style and having it at one of our houses and all bringing something. I am doing dauphinoise potatoes which I LOVE! I remember once I did them and the sauce separated and it was a wet mess at the end! (Still tasty but not pleasing to the eye). Why did that happen? Could it be the potatoes? I live on an island and in the winter we dont get a choice of potatoes!

Help! For 6 servings please.
post #2 of 11
This recipe works for me



2 c. plus 2 tbsp. water
6 oz. flour
8 tbsp. butter
3 to 4 eggs
1 tsp. salt

Boil together water, butter and salt. Remove from heat and add flour, all at once. Mix well. Place over low heat and mix until dough is drier and no longer sticks to sides of pan. Add eggs, one at a time. Dough must be fluid, but not liquid, so stop after 3 eggs if right consistency is achieved.


2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, boiled & mashed

Be careful to pick a potato that is good when fried, i.e., does not go to pieces. A good choice is Russet.
Dry potatoes over low flame. Mix 2/3 dough and 1/3 mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Heat oil and drop 1 teaspoon of the mixture. You may fry 5 to 6 puffs at the same time (use a wok if you have one). Fry until golden; dry on paper towels. Serve hot. Makes 18 to 22 puffs.

If looking for speed, this can be put through a pastry bag into the hot oil ,but be careful.if you are not experienced do not do this way.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I meant the layered gratin with sliced potatoes and cream and garlic.
post #4 of 11
HEY! I come from that region (Dauphiné). It might amuse you that even amongst friends and family we still fight over which recipe is the "authentic" recipe. For example, in my family we used to put Gruyère cheese, which is definitely not an authentic ingredient - but who cares! :lol:

Anyway olive oil at the bottom of the dish, rub the dish with some garlic, layer potatoes and cream/milk (I like to do it with whole milk and creme fraiche), but really at the end of the day I think what matters is to cook the gratin dauphinois SLOW and LOW. Don't bake that dish if you're in a hurry, it can take 2 hours or more.

Everything else (which milk, which cream, cheese or not, garlic or not, type of potatoes, thickness of the slices, number of layers, individual portion ramequins or family-size dish etc... is a matter of preference.

What kind of milk/cream were you using when it got separated?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much french fries!

I think if I remember right it was double cream - not sure, was a long time ago, and my first year in Greece when I didnt understand the alphabet and bought items depending on the design of the packaging LOL!

I will take your advice and cook it low and slow - will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again.
post #6 of 11
It's very likely your first gratin curdled. Usually, the best technique to avoid curdling is to cook at a low temperature -- just as French Fries said. I don't know whether Greek ovens knoves are "gas mark" or simply marked in degree centigrate. At any rate, a temperature around 150C or just above is a conservative oven setting.

Cook until you see dots of yellow oil just coming to the surface. They're butterfat and indicate the cream is beginning to separate. Stop immediately, whether the top is browned or not. If you like, you can let the gratin cool down for ten minutes to set up, then run it under a broiler until you get a little browning. Better, is to finish the gratin with a torch.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, these sorts of potato/cream gratins (dauphinois, lyonnaise, etc.) curdle anyway.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you Boar_d_laze, I will use your instructions and let you know the outcome.

post #8 of 11
Living at about 5000 ft above sea level, I think the lower boiling point causes some problems too. I've never successfully cooked a Dauphinois. They curdle each and every one no matter what I've tried.

I've had somewhat better luck with the super pastuerized cream. It's more stable but the flavor isn't as good.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #9 of 11

Try this

Now please don't everyone scream at me that this is not authentic.......I know it isn't, however that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. First I take a few russets and slice them thin on the mandolin, then I do the same to a small onion. Peel a large clove of garlic and mince it fine. I use a small Calphalon oval casserole and coat it with butter, layer the potatoes and onions, and sprinkle the garlic over the layers, also season with salt and pepper as you layer it all together. When the casserole is full I add one can (if you don't have home made) chicken broth and a half pint of heavy cream mixed together and poured over it all, sprinkle with fresh parmesan, cover it with foil and bake at 325 for an hour, check to see if you can insert a knife into the center easily, if you can insert the knife easily remove the foil at that point and then I top it with whatever cheese I have around, cheddar, fontina or any others we like, sprinke with a little more parm and turn on the broiler for a few minutes to melt and crust the top. It's really flexible in that if you want it creamier just add a little more cream when you start, if you want it drier add a little less, so far I have never had it curdle on me and everyone loves it, it's one of the most requested items for me to bring to pot lucks.:lips:
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sounds delicious Matty, I might just do that but with slightly less onion.... I am not a fan of too much onion. Thanks!
post #11 of 11


[quote=SoonToBeMrsP;259681]Sounds delicious Matty, I might just do that but with slightly less onion.... I am not a fan of too much onion. Thanks
My kids hated onion but were never aware that it was in this dish, I cut them paper thin on the mandolin and they litteraly would disolve into the potatoes. I bought a big casserole of this out to the youngest sons (the ultimate onion hater) and his kids gobbled it up with lots of help from him this weekend, try as he might he couldn't find any onion in there.:D Give it a try, just remember you want the combination of the liquids to reach almost the top but not cover the potatoes. If I am doing this in a metal casserole shaped dish and need it in a hurry I also par cook it on the stove top and then finish it off in the oven.
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