Ted's Favorite Potato Gratin
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
2 lbs baking potatoes
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt, but either would be fine)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme (the recipe lists this as optional, but I think it's a nice addition)
2 firmly packed cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8 inch baking dish. Peel potatoes and put them in a bowl of cold water to keep them from browning. Slice half the potatoes as thin as you can and layer them into the pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, the garlic and the bay leaves. Strip thyme leaves off sprigs and sprinkle over the potatoes. Sprinkle with half the cheese and pour over half the cream.
Slice and layer the remaining potatoes on top and sprinkle again with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Pour the rest of the cream over, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, and dot with 1 tablespoon butter.
Put the gratin in the oven and bake until the top is golden and crusty and the interior is still moist with cream when you stick a knife into it, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.