In case you're new here, you may not yet have noticed: I love eggs. For breakfast or dinner; scrambled, hardboiled, fried, or poached. I don't like to play favorites, but baking them in individual ramekins until the whites are barely set and the yolks reach that creamy, pudding-like consistency may, perhaps, be my egg de resistance. It's so easy and has an air of fancy that makes a weekend breakfast feel extra special. Here's how to do it.
Cooking baked eggs (also called eggs en cocotte or shirred eggs) is a pretty darn straightforward process. There aren't many tricks or secrets here, which is handy when you're groggy first thing in the morning.
I like to cook them in a hot water bath. This might seem a bit fussy, but it helps to gently cook the eggs all the way through. You can also make plain baked eggs, or you can layer a spoonful of something tasty in the bottom of the ramekin. Mushrooms sautéed in butter or a nest of caramelized onions are my favorites.
You can make baked eggs just as easily for one or for a dozen. The only limiting factor is the number of small ramekins at your disposal. This is a great breakfast to have in your back pocket around the holidays when family descends and long brunches ensue.
Do you have a favorite way of making baked eggs?
If you'd like a richer baked egg and some extra insurance against the yolk drying out in the oven, add a spoonful of cream to each ramekin.
How to Make Baked Eggs en Cocotte
What You Need
Butter or olive oil
Milk or cream (optional)
Optional Extras: minced fresh herbs, grated cheese, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, crumbled bacon, spring onions, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, or any other little bits or spoonfuls that would be tasty with eggs.
Small ramekins (2-3 ounces for baking single eggs, 5-6 ounces for baking two eggs)
Roasting pan, cake pan, or other oven-safe dish
Clean dish towel
1. Prepare the Oven and Hot Water Bath: Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Line the baking dish with the dish towel; the dishtowel will keep the ramekins from sliding when you carry the baking dish.
2. Butter the Ramekins: Rub the insides of the ramekins with butter or olive oil. If you're adding any extras like grated cheese or veggies, add a spoonful or two to each ramekin.
3. Crack the Eggs into the Ramekins: Crack one egg into each ramekin (or two eggs if using larger ramekins).
4. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper: Sprinkle each egg with a pinch of salt and pepper. If you'd like a richer baked egg and some extra insurance against the yolk drying out in the oven, add a spoonful of cream to each ramekin.
5. Transfer Ramekins to the Baking Dish: Arrange all the ramekins on the towel in the baking dish. Pour hot water into the baking dish to come partway up the sides of the ramekins. Very hot tap water is fine, or you can heat water on the stove until it's just starting to steam.
6. Bake the Eggs: Transfer the baking dish with the ramekins of eggs to the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the whites are set: 12-15 minutes for runny yolks, 15-18 minutes for soft-cooked yolks, or 20 minutes for hard-cooked yolks. Remove the ramekins with oven mitts and eat immediately with toast for dipping.
• Baked Eggs in the Toaster Oven: Nix the water bath and bake ramekins of eggs directly on the rack in the toaster oven. Using the toaster oven tray can make transferring them in and out easier.
(Images: Emma Christensen)