As the weather turns a little cooler, I am always drawn to dishes that are reminiscent of cozy evenings and firesides. Creamy potatoes, silky apples and golden melted cheeses are the perfect solution for conjuring these images. Try this dish with a delightfully crisp and spicy Riesling and welcome fall!
Serves 4 to 6
2 tart apples, such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Jazz or Granny Smith
1 small Walla Walla or other sweet onion
3 medium red potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 ounces Beecher's Flagship cheese, grated
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped herbs, such as sage, thyme, basil, dill, marjoram or oregano (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Trim both ends from the apples and using a corer, remove the core, leaving the apple whole. Peel the onion.
Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut the apples, onions and potatoes into thin slices, crosswise.
Arrange the slices in a circular pattern in a cast iron skillet or round Dutch oven or baking dish. I do this by forming a bundle of 1 apple slice, 2 potato slices and 1 slice or a few rings of onion and laying it in the pan. I continue forming these bundles and overlapping them in a circle around the outside of the pan. I then form additional concentric circles inside that one, still overlapping, until the entire pan is covered.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the cheeses on top. Pour the cream evenly over the pan and sprinkle with herbs if using. Cover the pan with a lid or with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes then remove the cover. Place the pan back in the oven for 10 minutes more or until the cheese is bubbled and browned.