I love scalloped potatoes but this version using turnips brings so much more flavour to the table. The combination of the cream, thyme and Gruyere cheese really brings out the innate nuttiness of the turnips. You can make this the day before you intend to serve; it reheats beautifully.
5 turnips (about 2 1/2 pounds), trimmed and peeled
1 1/2 cups 35% cream
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 shallots, peeled, halved and sliced into thin half moons
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (200 grams)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a mandoline or a very sharp chef's knife to cut the turnips into 1/4-in. thick slices. (If it helps, cut the turnip in half before cutting into slices.)
Add the cream, garlic, salt, nutmeg, cayenne into a pot over medium and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 min, then remove from heat and set aside.
Using an 11 x 13 baking dish, begin by placing the sliced turnip in a single layer, overlapping the pieces slightly as you go. Scatter some sliced shallots, and a pinch or two of thyme over the turnips and top evenly with 1/3 of a cup of grated Gruyere. Repeat with another layer of turnip, followed by shallots, thyme and 1/3 cup Gruyere. Continue in this manner, finishing last, with a layer of turnip.
Remove the garlic from the warm cream and discard. Pour the cream mixture slowly over the turnip, making sure you distribute it evenly. Top again with remaining Gruyere.
Place the baking dish on a baking sheet for easier transportation in and out of the oven and to catch any cream that bubbles over.
Cover with aluminum foil, ensuring the foil does not touch the top of the gratin. Place in the oven to cook for 25 min.
Remove the aluminum foil and return to the oven for an additional 30 min, until the top is golden, the sides bubbly and turnip tender.
Allow to sit at least 25 minutes before serving.
Tip: Turnips are not the same as rutabaga! Turnip has a white and purplish exterior and is not waxy. But good news: You can use rutabaga for this recipe as well.