Fall Roasted Vegetable Gratin: Want to use only cream and white cheddar but it keeps breaking in the oven. Do I need a bechamel or flour?

Even though it's a beautiful summer day, I'm experimenting with a Fall Gratin. I'd prefer to go the purist route and not use flour or roux or a bechamel. Would a little 1/2 and 1/2 help me? I'm using alot of cheddar in the cream which is really elevating the fat content and therefore the breaking. If I do need to use flour, what would be the recommended ratio of flour or roux to liquid for an intense cheese flavor but still light-on-its-feet gratin? Thanks!

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Esther Plume
Esther Plume August 28, 2011

I'd go for a bit of cornflour/cornstarch, you can mix it into some of the cream you're already using, and should help stabilise things a bit.

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Milk & Honey
Milk & Honey August 28, 2011

Good idea. Thanks!. I haven't used cornflour but it sounds like it would be less "cornstarchy" than cornstarch. Yes?

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Esther Plume
Esther Plume August 28, 2011

I think it's just the English name for cornstarch - it comes as a very fine powder here.

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pierino
pierino August 28, 2011

I'm old school on this one and I would go with a bechamel on this, sinful as it sounds. Make a roux, heat up some milk to scalding, add some nutmeg and blah,blah. But a bechamel is the best binder I can think of here.

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boulangere
boulangere August 28, 2011

With apologies to pierino, I make fall and winter vegetable gratins regularly with a good layer of panko, some s&p over every layer, just heavy cream then cheese over the top. The panko acts as pseudo-roux, and a final layer over the top followed by cheese takes on a good toasted flavor.

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