Last night I made my first potato gratin. Here's what I did, and I need some critique to figure out where I went wrong.
Started out with old russet potatoes that were stored in the fridge. In the morning I used my mandoline and cut them into 1/8" slices. Stored them in cold water until 6 p.m.
Drained them, and patted dry with paper towels. Layered half in the dish, added 1 cup half and half. Layered Gruyere cheese and parmigiana reggiono, added potatoes, cheeses and final cup of half and half.
Baked covered for 1 hour at 350. Removed the top, and baked for 15 minutes at 415 degrees. Checked for doneness, and it was not tender. So I lowered the temperature back to 350 and baked for 30 minutes more with the top off. And though I started with the dish half full of liquid, now it was literally almost overflowing with liquid. When I took it out, it was still not as tender as I would have liked.
I served them anyway (it was now 8 p.m.). The top was almost cooked, but the rest wasn't. The liquid was VERY watery, and the cheese was curdled. We skimmed the top layer off, but I tossed the rest of it.
Oven temperature is not an issue, I know that. I'm wondering if the long soak in the water did something to change the chemistry of the potato slices.
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