Potatoes Au Gratin

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Made simply with sliced potatoes, heavy cream, and grated cheese, potatoes au gratin is the ultimate comfort food.

Casserole dish of potatoes au gratin.

This wonderful recipe for potatoes au gratin involves layering thinly sliced potatoes with heavy cream and grated cheese in a baking dish, and then baking until the cream thickens and blankets the potatoes in a rich, creamy sauce. I’d say the dish is worthy of a special occasion — it is! — but the truth is that eating it is a special occasion unto itself. The only consideration to keep in mind is that the dish is best assembled right before baking. Once potatoes are peeled and sliced, they discolor quickly. Similarly, it cannot be baked ahead of time, as the cream tends to separate when reheated. I hope this doesn’t discourage you from trying the recipe, as it is truly delicious and worth the effort.

What You’ll Need To Make Potatoes au Gratin

ingredients for potatoes au gratin

  • The best potatoes to use for au gratin potatoes are russets; they have the most starch and make the creamiest sauce. (Russet potatoes are also ideal for making mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and twice-baked potatoes).
  • You may be tempted to cut calories by using half & half or milk in place of the cream. Please don’t! This is one of those recipes that really requires heavy cream in order to thicken up.
  • It’s important to use authentic Parmigiano Reggiano rather than domestic parmesan. You can tell if it’s the real deal by looking at the rind, which is embossed with the name over and over. (If the cheese is already grated, it should be labeled “Parmigiano Reggiano,” not “Parmesan.”) If you can’t find it, Pecorino Romano makes an excellent and even more flavorful substitute.

How to make Potatoes Au Gratin

Begin by slicing the potatoes as thinly and uniformly as possible. You can use a mandoline slicer if you have one, but I never bother. (Pro tip: When slicing wobbly potatoes, it helps to cut a thin slice along the length of the potato, then turn the potato cut-side down on a cutting board so that it sits flat.)

slicing the potatoes

Place the potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the salt and pepper. Be sure the potatoes are evenly coated.

tossing potatoes with salt and pepper

Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Arrange some of the potato slices, edges overlapping, in a single layer on the bottom of the dish.

arranging potato slices in dish

Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the potatoes.

sprinkling the cheese over the potatoes

Pour a quarter of the cream over top.

pouring cream over top

Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cheese, and cream, forming four layers. Pour any leftover cream over top.

potatoes au gratin ready to bake

Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and golden brown on top. The top layer of the potatoes should be beautifully golden by the time the dish is done baking but if you want just a bit more browning, feel free to stick the baking dish under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes; just keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

potatoes au gratin fresh out of the oven

Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, if using, and serve. (Note: If you have a large crowd coming and plan to double the dish, you’ll get the best results by baking it in two 2-quart baking dishes instead of one larger dish. The potatoes will cook more evenly that way.)

Potatoes au gratin in a baking dish.

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Potatoes Au Gratin

Made simply with sliced potatoes, heavy cream, and grated cheese, potatoes au gratin is the ultimate comfort food.

Servings: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • Butter to grease the baking dish
  • 2½ pounds Russet potatoes (3 to 4), peeled and sliced very thin
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (4 oz) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2¼ cups heavy cream
  • Fresh thyme, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease an 8-inch (or 2-quart) baking dish with butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the salt and pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Arrange some of the potato slices, edges overlapping, in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the potatoes, and then pour a quarter of the cream over the cheese. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cheese, and cream, forming 4 layers. Pour any leftover cream over top.
  4. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and golden brown on top. Let the dish settle on the counter for about ten minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, if using, and then serve.
  5. Make Ahead: If absolutely necessary, this dish can be assembled a day ahead and covered tightly with plastic wrap (pressing the wrap directly against the potatoes so they don’t discolor too much). Store in the refrigerator and bake before serving. Note that the potatoes on top will still discolor a bit in the fridge, but it shouldn't be noticeable after baking.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 399
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 518 mg
  • Cholesterol: 101 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Made this last night. So easy and delicious. Followed recipe exactly. I love your recipes. We also like the baked ziti with Italian sausage and pork tenderloin with mustard sauce.

    • — Patrice Tanner on April 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Thanks for this recipe. Unfortunately my heavy cream did not thicken and I had to use a slotted spoon to serve the potatoes. I did not have enough Parmesan on hand so added some Mozarella cheese. Overall the taste was good and the potatoes were golden so it all looked tempting.
    Do you have any idea of what might have happened?

    • — Carole Ann O'Connell on April 18, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Carole Ann, I’m sorry you had a problem with this! Did you use russet potatoes? Did you make any changes or adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2024
      • Reply
      • I used Russets and only added some Mozzarella cheese because I did not have enough Parmesan.

        • — Carole Ann O'Connell on April 20, 2024
        • Reply
        • Hmmm….that’s a bit of a head-scratcher. The only thing I can think of is that the mozzarella caused a problem as it does have a significantly different texture than parmesan.

          • — Jenn on April 23, 2024
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, If I make this in a ceramic 8-inch pan (Emile Henry), do I need to cook longer? What type pan do you recommend?

    • — Ellen on April 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, Ceramic will work — it will just take a bit longer than glass or metal.

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Just made this today for Easter supper and it turned out great!! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you 🙂

    • — Linda on March 31, 2024
    • Reply
  • I’m operating with one oven and plan to make roasted carrots also. Can I bake the potatoes and put them in a crock pot to stay warm?

    • — Gerri on March 29, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Gerri, technically you could do that, but I think it will get pretty messy when you’re transferring them and you’ll lose that crisp topping.

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2024
      • Reply
  • These are the best potatoes ever and so easy!

    • — Vanessa on March 23, 2024
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  • Absolutely the best recipe ever! I’ve made scalloped potatoes for years and always had cooking time challenges. I follow your recipe exactly and they turn out perfectly every time and they are so SIMPLE to make. We’ve switched to Gruyère cheese and it’s a family hit.

    A visiting British friend watched me make them recently and was astonished at how easy they were to make (and how amazing they tasted). It’s not a dish she’s ever made and she went home with the recipe.

    About to make Baked Ziti for visiting grandkids. Only recently discovered you and your amazing recipes. They’ve all been hits. Thank you!

    • — Marg on March 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Would Yukon gold potatoes work the same as russet?

    • — Lynn Mitchell on March 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately not – sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 14, 2024
      • Reply
  • Absolutely scrumptious. The two oddballs (who doesn’t love potatoes?!) I live with actually would both put potatoes far below pasta, rice, or bread for a starchy side, but they love this one. So, so good!

    • — Candice on February 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have made this au gratin, and loved both the potatoes, and the simplicity of the recipe. If i increase the recipe to 1.5, can I use a 2 quart casserole? Thanks.
    Linda

    • — Linda on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, Glad you like it! I don’t think 1.5 times the recipe will fit in a 2-quart dish. If you want to double it, I’d suggest a 3-quart.

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2024
      • Reply
  • Made these tonight to accompany a steak dinner. WOW is all we can say – everyone loved them, including my fussy B-In-Law. And so simple! Yet another Jenn hit, thank you!

    • — Caroline on January 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • I make this every-time we have a big roast beef dinner. It never fails to impress. We prep it ahead of time and have it cooking in the little Breville oven so it is a wonderful aroma when guests arrive.
    It is a no fail recipe.

    • — Lorraine on January 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • I’m taking a dish to a friend following surgery and am wondering if I could add diced ham to the recipe to make it more of a meal.

    • — Peggy on January 8, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Peggy, a few readers have mentioned that they’ve added ham to this, and that the moisture from the ham added a little bit too much moisture to the dish. If you want to try it, I’d reduce the cream to 2 cups. Hope that helps and your friend enjoys!

      • — Jenn on January 8, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I’ve made this recipe a few times, and it’s always a big hit!! I’m planning to make again in the same oven—and at the same temperature—as some vegetables I’ll be roasting in prime rib fat. That means the oven will be set for 425 degrees. Any thoughts on how to adapt the recipe so I can make the potatoes and veggies at the same time? Thanks, and Happy New Year!

    • — Alex S. on December 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Alex, I’d cook at 400 but cover the potatoes for the first 30 minutes so they don’t get too brown. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 31, 2023
      • Reply
  • I love all of your recipes Jen. I learned to cook from your books. I had trouble with this one. Has anyone parboiled the potatoes first? For how long? Sliced or whole? The first time I made it we ended up not having potatoes with dinner because they didn’t cook. 2 hours in oven. Ii follow your directions exactly. I am starting to think it might be a gas vs. electric stove that causes my issues.

    • — Laurie Welsh on December 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Laurie, I’m so sorry you had trouble with this one! You’re not the first to mention this issue, but I haven’t been able to replicate the issue in my kitchen—and for most people, the timing seems to work. May I ask what type of baking dish you used (material and size)? Are you by chance at high altitude? Do you have a gas or electric oven?

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2023
      • Reply
      • Same issue here. Also cooked an additional hour after realizing the potatoes were not done. Still have hard uncooked potatoes. Not high altitude, electric oven, ceramic casserole dish. I’m putting it back in again, but covering with foil to see if they’ll cook through this time. The sauce is delicious though.

        • — Jeannie on January 14, 2024
        • Reply
        • I’m sorry that the timing didn’t work for you! Did it come out okay (albeit taking much longer in the oven than the recipe indicates)?

          • — Jenn on January 15, 2024
          • Reply
  • My go to Christmas side dish to accompany prime rib. It is perfection! After making it a few times, I realized that 2 cups of cream, or just a tiny smidge shy of that, is the perfect amount. I found with 2 1/4 cup, it’s a little soupy and takes longer to come together. If you do less than 2 cups, it will come together faster but you risk the dish not melding together as perfectly and can be just slightly dry. So trust the process and cook it for 90 minutes uncovered if that’s what it takes for it to absorb the cream. It’s truly the best!

    • — Sara on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I love this recipe and have made it a few times with wonderful results! Thank you. Can I make it ahead of time, bake it, and then freeze it? I’m trying to cut down on Christmas day prep. Thank you in advance.

    • — Libby M. on December 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! Unfortunately, it doesn’t freeze well — sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 8, 2023
      • Reply
  • Made this recipe twice now, both times it took twice as long to bake as suggested and the potatoes were still undercooked. I used a mandoline so the potatoes were sliced thin and uniform and used a 2 quart baking dish with russet potatoes. Dinner was ready but the potatoes were not. Will not make again.

    • — Deb on November 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • I agree with Deb. Next time I will try baking it covered for 45 min then uncovered for 15-30 min longer. However, looking for your thoughts Jenn, because I’ve been following your recipes for a few years now and they have all been spot on. I love your recipes!

      • — Chuck (amateur chef) on December 9, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Chuck, So glad you like the recipes and I’m sorry you had a problem with the potatoes not cooking through! What type of baking dish did you use – glass, ceramic, or metal?

        • — Jenn on December 14, 2023
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn… I love all your recipes and this included. Strange question.. I made a 9×13 sized casserole and have more than half left. It’s just the two of us. Do you think I could transform the leftovers into a soup?

    • — P Watkins on November 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! Yes, I will take some improvisation, but I think you could turn this into a soup. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • I only gave this five stars because I couldn’t give it 10 stars. This may be my favorite side dish, ever. It is amazing!

    • — Dennis Hughes on November 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn, I’m making this dish for Easter for a crowd of 20. Is there a way to make this in a crock pot?

      • — Jill on March 24, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Jill, I don’t think this will work in a crock pot — I’m sorry!

        • — Jenn on March 25, 2024
        • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe countless times. Having it today with bison tenderlion steaks using the sauce from her beef tenderlion recipe.

    • — Stephanie on November 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen do you think I could make these in individual ramekins for a brunch?

    • — Nancy on October 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious and a crowd pleaser. I’ve made several times and has become a favorite. Thank you Jenn!

    • — Rebekah on October 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Yes an absolutely decadent and easy side dish! I make mine with Gruyere and a few cloves of grated garlic, to die for!

    • — LizP909 on October 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • These genuinely might have been the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten

    • — Trevor on October 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe thank you! Making for a potluck. Can I bake it today and reheat it at the party tomorrow to save time tomorrow?

    • — Stacy on September 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Stacy, Glad you like it! Unfortunately it doesn’t reheat very well though. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • I continue to make this recipe and make it in smaller batches (so that I only have 2 servings) since it is that good and I can the whole pan.

    • — Danielle on September 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • I am having a benefit dinner for 24 in my home. I have made your tasty recipe twice and enjoyed. I have limited oven space I thought I would use 2 foil 9×13 (3qt) pans. After cooking I would keep hot in a water bath steam tray and cover. Your thoughts.
    Thank you Mary

    • — Mary on June 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, For the most even cooking, I’d bake them in two separate 8-inch baking pans, but if it’s just not possible, you can get away with using one 9 x 13-inch dish. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on June 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • These are seriously the best Potatoes Au Gratin (or Scalloped Potatoes as we call them) that I have ever ate!! High end restaurant quality dish right here, and sooo simple to make. The most time consuming part is cutting the potatoes and baking it. I had a partial block of Cabot Cheddar cheese that desperately needed to be used, so I shredded it and added it to the Parmesan. It was perfect! Jen, I could seriously cry because I am so glad I found your website! I never thought I’d be able to cook food like this. I feel like a wonderful hostess now, even if the meal is just for me and my husband. Paired these potatoes with your Rack of Lamb and Roasted Asparagus and it made a wonderful Easter meal! Nothing was leftover at the end of the day.

    • — Lilee on April 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just wondering if anybody has added some onions to this recipe to boost the flavour, suggestions on onions and amount?
    I have made this once already following the recipe as directed and though it was missing the tang that onions provide.

    • — Samantha on March 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • This recipe is almost identical to my go to au gratin, only difference being I include into each layer shredded gruyere (1 cup total) and leeks (3 total) pre sauteed in 1 TB butter. I top the final layer with a final sprinkling of gruyere and parmesan. The leeks make all the difference. You can also sub appx. 2-3 yellow sauteed yellow onions. Hope this helps!

      • — Sandra Tatsuno on April 7, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thanks for this tip. I had something similar recently, looking forward to making this!

        • — christine wilson on April 15, 2023
        • Reply
    • I have made it with carmelized onions. I just sprinkle a few here and there while putting it together. It gives a nice burst of flavor when you get a bite with the onions. I also sometimes grate a small amount of nutmeg into the cream. Enough to make a difference but people don’t really know it’s nutmeg.

      • — David on December 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi! I love your recipes! This sounds delicious…do you have anything similar that is non-dairy that I could make for Passover Seder?

    • — Anne on March 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, Unfortunately, I don’t have anything that resembles this that doesn’t have dairy — sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 23, 2023
      • Reply
    • You just substitute with oat milk and double the flour. Use plant based cheese .

      • — Brenda on December 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • I will have 10 for dinner. Should I double the recipe? Thanks.

    • — Val on March 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Val, I think 1.5 times the recipe should be sufficient. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on March 20, 2023
      • Reply
      • If you 1.5 times the recipe, how long should you bake it and what size casserole dish?

        • — Colleen on April 5, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Colleen, I’d use a 2.5-quart baking dish. The bake time may be a little longer. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on April 6, 2023
          • Reply
  • I’ve made this before and it’s delicious. I’m wondering if it can be doubled? If so, what size baking dish do you think would be best? Would love to make it for Easter dinner for my family of 12.

    • — Sallie on March 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is the go-to for visiting family and the locals too. So goooooood. I’m not a stars guy but this is worth it.

    • — rlr on January 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious and so easy! I was looking for something to make at the last minute, and I had all the ingredients for this (including the Parmigiano-Reggiano from one of Jenn’s previous recipes) and it came together beautifully!

    • — Katherine on January 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made it for our family holiday meal and I’m so happy I doubled the recipe as I have some left overs to enjoy! I used asiago cheese and it was crazy good!

    • — Pamela M on January 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have made these for 4 special holidays. These are requested for every special occasion and are roll your eyes in the back of your head good! The ONLY thing I do differently is mix russet and Yukon gold potatoes together and add more cheese ( my wife’s request lol). This recipe is 10 stars as written though! Just finished making them for New Year’s Day dinner 2023.

    • — Rob on January 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Well, these are my new party trick! Halved the recipe in my 1 quart, 8” x 6” Staub baker as I didn’t have enough potatoes on hand and was only cooking for two, but it was perfect and could definitely feed 4. Also only had bagged, shredded Parmesan on hand so I tossed it into my small food processor to grate it down. Not able to get a super fine grate that way but better than shredded or running out to store this evening. It was still BEYOND delicious and now I cannot wait to try with the freshly grated parmesan reggiano as called for! Very easy to make and I appreciated the short list of ingredients, which is the whole reason I was stopped scrolling when I saw this one. I will make this again and again.

    • — Allison on December 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • OMG these were very delicious. The Parmigiano Reggiano added such a nice flavor, I could see how gruyere would be nice too. We used the mandolin and they were about ¼” thick. Though I weighed out the whole potatoes I only had 3 layers, which was fine. Therefore, I cut back on the heavy cream. Maybe that helped? Not sure but again, heavenly!!! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Aimee on December 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • will these potatoes keep if I cover them and put them in my warmer oven for 30 min? I only have one oven to cook in. Thanks..they look delicious !!

    • — char on December 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Char, that should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks so much for getting back so soon ! I am excited to try these .

        Happy New Year !!

        • — char on December 28, 2022
        • Reply
  • I made the au gratin potatoes for Christmas lunch yesterday. It’s the first time I served it to guests and as I suspected it might be, this dish was a hit. You’d advised another commenter that gruyere would work for the cheese so I used that, and wow, does it ever work! Delicious!

    Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes. Everything, every time, has turned out so well. I always recommend your site and cookbooks to my friends. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful 2023!

    • — Leigh on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’d love to try this recipe, but I don’t have russet potatoes, just the Yukon gold or yellow potatoes. Could I use the yellow potatoes in this recipe if I parboiled them for just a bit to take some of the starch off?

    • — Cathy on December 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Cathy, For the best results, I’d stick with russets — sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I want to try this recipe for Christmas dinner! I have an abundance of Gruyere cheese I need to use up. Can I substitute the Parmigiano-Reggiano for shredded Gruyère? And if so, would the amount of cheese still be one cup? Many thanks ! Love your recipes!

    • — Janis on December 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janis, so glad you like the recipes! Yes, using Gruyere here is fine, and I’d stick with 1 cup. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • I followed the recipe to a T – they were a complete hit with my 66-year-old husband as well as my 6-, 7- and 8-year-old grandkids.

    This is not the first recipe of yours I’ve used; all have been so user friendly and delicious. Your two cookbooks are my go-to resources. THANK YOU!!!

    • — Janice White on December 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Would light cream work in place of the heavy cream?
    Thank, Diane

    • — Diane on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, I’d recommend sticking with heavy cream here.

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Made this tonight for dinner. as there are only 2 in the house, I used square ramekins, which works out a potato per person. In NZ we have a a low fat cooking cream, which is perfect for this. the potatoes were creamy with crispy bits of the side of the ramekin. Tasted awesome with pan fried duck breast and fresh mesculun salad.

    • — Sjaac on December 12, 2022
    • Reply

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