Endive Braised in Creme Fraiche
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 14 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Coarse sea salt, or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound French ham, sliced, (such as Bayonne) or prosciutto
- 1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, sliced, thinly
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1/4 teaspoon mace, ground
DirectionsCenter a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300F.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar.
Add the endive leaves and lemon juice and cook until almost all the liquid in the pan has evaporated, making sure that the leaves do not color, 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour in the white wine and continue to cook until the endive leaves are evenly coated with the reduced pan liquid, about 2 minutes more.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool to room temperature.
Divide the endive leaves into 3 equal portions.
Divide the ham and cheese into 3 equal portions as well.
Put 1 portion of the endive leaves in an even layer on the bottom of a small cast-iron pot, Dutch oven, or casserole, followed by 1 portion of the ham.
Brush one-third of the creme fraiche over the ham layer, season with salt, pepper, and mace, and put 1 portion of cheese on top.
Repeat the layering two more times.
Cover with a buttered parchment round and transfer to the oven.
Braise for 1 hour.
Preheat the broiler.
Remove the parchment and broil for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.