From Remembering Bill Neal: Favorite Recipes from a Life in Cooking, by Moreton Neal (2004). Sublime, and we save this recipe for very special occasions.
8 medium russet (baking) potatoes, about 3 ½ pounds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Peel the potatoes and place them in a pot of cold water to keep them from turning brown.
Pour the melted butter into a 9 x 13-inch flame-proof baking pan or gratin dish. Sprinkle the garlic evenly around the bottom of the pan and rub into the melted butter.
Using a food processor or mandoline, slice the potatoes thinly (about 1/8-inch thick). Add the potatoes to the pan in layers, seasoning each layer generously with salt and pepper as you go. Add enough half-and-half to just cover the potatoes and place the pan over 2 stove-top burners on medium-high heat. When the half-and-half has just begun to bubble around the edges, pour the heavy cream over the top of the potatoes.
Bake the gratin for 40 to 50 minutes or until the potatoes are soft with a browned, crusty top. Allow the dish to sit for several minutes before serving.