Preheat the oven to 375?F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with the butter.†
Combine the salt, white pepper, and nutmeg and stir well to blend. Lay one-third of the potatoes evenly in the bottom of the baking dish and season with 3/4 teaspoon of the spice blend. Place half of apples on top of the potatoes and sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the apples. Lay a second layer of potatoes in the baking dish, season with 3/4 teaspoon of the spice blend and top with the remaining apples.† Sprinkle another 1/2 cup of the cheese. Lay the last of the potatoes over the cheese, season with another 3/4 teaspoon of spice and top with the last of the cheese.†
In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream with the remainder of the spice blend and the Essence. Pour over the potatoes and apples and press down to fill the air spaces. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour.
Remove the foil and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender and the top is bubbly and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings