Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a large baking dish. In a mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with salt and pepper. Build one layer of potatoes at the bottom of the bottom of the baking dish, with the edges overlapping. Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese and pour a quarter of the heavy cream into the dish. Repeat until four layers of potatoes are complete and pour remaining heavy cream over the top.
Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown, about an hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs, such as chives or thyme, before serving.