Individual Sweet Potato Gratins with Creme Fraiche, Onions, and Bacon

By • September 24, 2009 • 37 Comments


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Author Notes: My boyfriend is an overall carb hater (I never thought that was possible), but he's a sucker for sweet potatoes. The bacon gets crisp and the onions get soft and make this gratin super delicious. Individual portions mean I can make a big batch, and reheat it later as a last-minute side dish.erinmcdowell

Food52 Review: Sweet potatoes are often made even more sweet using ingredients like maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and even marshmallows. We like that apartmentcooker goes definitively in the other direction by adding bacon, parmesan, onion, garlic and a crème fraîche bechamel, while still paying homage to more traditional recipes (she adds a tablespoon of brown sugar to the bechamel, with delightful results). Thinly sliced sweet potatoes are layered in the baking dish (we used one dish big enough for two rather than individual ones) with bechamel, crisped bacon, and raw onions and garlic, which infuse the gratin with their fragrance. A sprinkling of parmesan on top helps with browning, but if you want a little more color, pop the gratin under the broiler for a few minutes at the end. We found that 20-25 minutes baking time was perfect for a two-person baking dish. - A&MA&M

Serves 2

  • 4 pieces bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, thinly sliced (1/8" thick)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
  1. Lightly grease 2 individual baking dishes (I used a bowl that holds roughly 1 1/2 cups). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from heat, and toss with onion and garlic.
  3. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook until the mixture is well combined but still pale. Stir in the milk and the creme fraiche.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and bring the bechamel to a simmer. Stir in nutmeg, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
  5. Layer 4-6 slices of potato at the base of each of the prepared baking dishes. Top with a few tablespoons of bechamel, and a few spoonfuls of the bacon mixture. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, another layer of bechamel, and more bacon. Top with one last layer of potatoes, and spoon remaining bechamel over the top. Finish with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake the gratins until they are bubbly around the edges and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Tags: fall, gratin, sweet potato, warm

Comments (37) Questions (2)

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19 days ago LizzyD77

Soooo awesome! I used almond milk because it's what I had on hand, and made the bechemel with a bit of GF oat flour and arrowroot powder instead if regular flour. So delicious it made a sweet potato hater into a lover!

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28 days ago Vintage Kitchen

Yummers!

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9 months ago Kelly Dennison

Best sweet potato dish I have ever had! Simply perfect!

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10 months ago Chloe8

My first attempt at using sweet potato in gratins, success!

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over 1 year ago 4insure

This was soo good! Made it for thanksgiving and planning on doing it again for christmas. Couldn't of asked for a better recipe. - James from 4insure

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about 2 years ago CharlieR

Lovely that this makes two. Keeps me from having to tweak the amounts.

Can't wait to try this!

Food52

about 2 years ago Manhattan Tart

It's still pretending to be "winter" in Southern California (y'know, low '60's at the beach, less perpetual sun) and I was dying to make this so, despite its Thanksgiving-y nature, I whipped it together to bring to a dinner party. I tripled the recipe, using 4-5 large sweet potatoes sliced VERY thin on a mandoline, subbed a hefty tsp. of ground mustard for the brown sugar, caramelized the onions in the bacon fat (I was worried about the additional moisture they'd give off; I've been burned by too many runny gratins), subbed sour cream for the creme fraiche (it was unintentional and unavoidable), used Fontina in place of the Parm (my husband thinks Parm tastes like foot...don't ask) and layered everything in a ginormous 10x15" pyrex dish. We baked it for about 70 minutes (or longer; I was drinking wine by then...) and then let it set for another 15 or so minutes to allow it all to gel a bit. IT WAS FABULOUS. The dinner party of 8 RAVED. There were many trips back for seconds and not copious amounts of leftovers (like there frequently are with other gratins). I can't wait to make this again -- I just need the weather to cooperate!

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over 2 years ago casadelmonte

I made thus yesterday for the neighbours, followed the recipe, I did however double all quantities and placed in a big casserole. Cooked for about 40 minutes, and it looked FAB, very lovely browning YUMMIE. That was until we ate it, the sweet potato hadn't cooked :( I was really sad and embarrassed. Warning everyone if you make this in a larger quantity you need to test with a fork that it is cooked. Of course you Americans are all so polite, everyone said it was delicious, not true, I do plan on popping what's left into the oven again today.

Karen_and_amy

over 2 years ago My Pantry Shelf

I love this recipe. We just finished off one batch and I am starting another one for Thanksgiving. I doubled the recipe and taking a few types from other readers left out the sugar and added some dry mustard. It baked up beautifully in 30 minutes (2.5 quart dish). Thank you for sharing!

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over 2 years ago casadelmonte

I am not an American, but am living here and loving it, I have been tasked with the sweet potato dish for my neighbours Thanksgiving, so have been hitting the web looking for inspiration. This is the recipe I am going for. Can't imagine liking a vegetable with a marshmallow topping, sounds appalling. Do people really like that? I like desserts but not to eat a dessert with meat.

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over 2 years ago casadelmonte

I am not an American, but am living here and loving it, I have been tasked with the sweet potato dish for my neighbours Thanksgiving, so have been hitting the web looking for inspiration. This is the recipe I am going for. Can't imagine liking a vegetable with a marshmallow topping, sounds appalling. Do people really like that? I like desserts but not to eat a dessert with meat.

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over 2 years ago casadelmonte

I am not an American, but am living here and loving it, I have been tasked with the sweet potato dish for my neighbours Thanksgiving, so have been hitting the web looking for inspiration. This is the recipe I am going for. Can't imagine liking a vegetable with a marshmallow topping, sounds appalling. Do people really like that? I like desserts but not to eat a dessert with meat.

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over 2 years ago casadelmonte

I am not an American, but am living here and loving it, I have been tasked with the sweet potato dish for my neighbours Thansgiving, so have been hitting the web looking for inspiration. This is the recipe I am going for. Can't imagine liking a vegetable with a marshmallow topping, sounds appalling. Do people really like that? I like desserts but not to eat a dessert with meat.

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over 2 years ago casadelmonte

I am not an American, but am living here and lovibg it, I have been tasked with the sweet potato dish for my neighbours Thansgiving, so have been hitting the web looking for inspiration. This is the recipe I am going for. Can't imagine liking a vegetable with a marshmallow topping, sounds appalling. Do people really like that? I like desserts but not to eat a dessert with meat.

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over 2 years ago BradM

When you call for sweet potatoes, are these yams or really sweet potatoes? Some use them interchangeably, and I would like to make this for Thanksgiving (I don't like the traditional sweet stuff)

Karen_and_amy

over 2 years ago My Pantry Shelf

I made it with garnet yams with great results.

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over 2 years ago Cheazza

What are your recommendations for size of dishes and baking times if I use a regular casserole dish?

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almost 3 years ago sue_ann_canvasser

Can I substitute Idaho potatoes?

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about 3 years ago WoooPigSooie!

Can I assemble this a day ahead and then cook the next?

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about 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Yea, that shouldn't be a problem!

Raquel4

over 2 years ago RaquelG

I assembled this the day before Thanksgiving and ended up with liquid at the bottom of the casserole dish (tripled current recipe and did it in a 9x13). I have to say that we did double the bechamel just because it was so damn good; although we halved the sugar. This was a huge hit and the marshmallow-topped yams became leftovers while the dish on this one was scraped clean! :)

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over 2 years ago MsJoanie

I doubled the recipe and left it in the fridge to bake the next day -- my bechamel separated some, leaving greasy butter throughout the dish. But it still tasted fabulous. Took over an hour to cook though. At least an hour and 15 minutes, possibly longer, I lost track. I was also worried about the onions given the recommended cooking time, so I softened them with the bacon. Perhaps a quick steam on the yams would help too?
RaquelG, how long did you cook your triple batch?

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over 3 years ago editrix

We feasted on this last weekend, and it is truly a knockout dish. We'll be bringing more to our friends' Thanksgiving potluck.

Lnd_jen

over 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

Made a variation of these for dinner last night, and my husband and I (both previously lukewarm on the issue of sweet potatoes) LOVED them. My minor changes were to omit the brown sugar in favor of a bit of dry mustard in the bechamel, and to add a little bit of shredded raclette cheese on top. Delicious! Thanks for giving us a sweet potato dish we will happily dig into time and again.