Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baked Eggs

I first had baked eggs (also called shirred eggs) at the bed-and-breakfast where Jeff and I stayed on our honeymoon. On two mornings we came down to find charming ramekins, each filled with an egg and herbs. Soon afterwards, I found a recipe for baked eggs in How to Cook Everything, and I've made them on several occasions, usually on a Sunday morning. We had them again this morning, and I thought I would post the recipe. I've adapted it somewhat from the basic version in HTCE.

Baked Eggs

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Butter small ramekins or custard cups. You can also put a couple teaspoons of cream in the bottom of each ramekin. If I don't have cream on hand, I usually put a little half-and-half in the bottom.

Break 1 egg into each cup. You can bake them like this (fairly plain), or you can add some toppings.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • I usually put some fresh herbs on top of the egg. Today I used thyme. I've also used rosemary.
  • Grate some cheese on top. I usually prefer freshly grated parmesan. Jeff likes cheddar (and today I put colby on his).
  • Breadcrumbs -- I've used breadcrumbs from a box, which work well; today I had leftover hearty white bread from another recipe calling for breadcrumbs, so I pulsed one piece in the food processor and sprinkled the fresh crumbs on top of the eggs.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. I usually bake for about 10, otherwise the yolk begins to set, which we dislike, though we do like the egg white to be fairly set. 10-11 minutes seems to do it. The eggs keep cooking even after you take them out of the oven, so take that into account.

There are other variations listed in HTCE -- olive oil/tomato, spinach, onions. Anything that you like to have with eggs would probably do well. Let me know if you have variations you enjoy. I encourage you to try your hand at baked eggs. They're quite charming and quite good!

It amazes me that shirred eggs have fallen from favor: there is something so luxurious about them, and, although they take a little time, they are delicious.

~ Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything


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