Provided by: Chef Dan Barber
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a 12-inch nonstick pan, lightly brown 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the apples, and sauté in batches until just colored, making sure they stay firm. Set the apples aside on a plate. In a large bowl, stir the cream, milk, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg until the salt has dissolved. Toss the potatoes in the cream to coat.
Generously butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch ovenproof dish, and rub with the crushed garlic. Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of overlapping potatoes, followed by overlapping apples. Repeat, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Pour in remaining spice-cream mixture.
Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 11⁄2 hours, or until the potatoes are cooked. Heat the broiler. Sprinkle panko over the gratin, dot with 1⁄2-inch cubes of the remaining butter, and broil until the bread crumbs are golden brown.(Published 2004)