Let’s talk about everything that is warm, cozy and comfy like this creamy butternut squash dauphinoise aka butternut squash au gratin. You’d think casserole season is over and it’s time to bust out barbecues and crush ice for margaritas but yesterday it felt like winter came back with a vengeance. The wind was hauling and the rain was relentlessly pounding on the glass of my conservatory. A bit of warming up was 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. I decided to lighted up the recipe by using butternut squash instead of potatoes, single cream instead of double cream and sharing it with many people instead of splitting it with Brad. 🙂 We loved this version even more than the traditional one. 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 also made my first ever loaf of bread which was so beautiful I wanted to cry. Just kidding I was actually grinning from ear to ear but more on that later.
The method for making this gorgeous dish is very straightforward. Mix cream with nutmeg, crushed garlic, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and bring it to a boil. Take off the heat and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Peel, de-seed and slice butternut squash and layer in a buttered dish.
Pour the herb and garlic infused cream over the squash, cover with a tin foil and bake at 350F/ 180C for 30 min. Uncover and sprinkle with any type of sharp cheese. I used mature white cheddar. Bake for 3o minutes longer uncovered.
- 400 ml/1 3/4 cups double cream/whipping cream
- 2 bay leaves
- a few thyme sprigs
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 lbs large butternut squash peeled and thinly sliced
- 50 g/2 oz mature white Cheddar or your favourite cheese grated
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
- Mix cream with nutmeg, crushed garlic, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and bring it to a boil.
- Take off the heat and let infuse for 10-15 minutes.
- Peel, de-seed and slice a large butternut squash and layer in a buttered dish.
- Pour the herb and garlic infused cream over the squash, leaving the bay leaves and thyme sprigs on top.
- Cover with a tin foil and bake at 350F/ 180C for 30 min.
- Uncover and sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes longer uncovered until the cheese is melted and golden and cream is bubbling around the edges.