Recipe Review: Mark Bittman's Baked Eggs with Tomato (for a Weekend Brunch Crowd)

Ever since we saw Mark Bittman's recipe for baked eggs with prosciutto and tomato, we knew we had to try it. We were also inspired by the delicious baked eggs with cream and thyme at Balthazar in New York; there is just something about a little dish of soft egg and toast in the morning. It's civilized, comforting, and warm. Oh, and easy - especially when you have 15 people for brunch on a Saturday morning!

We decided to try Bittman's recipe and see how it worked.

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We actually made this recipe two weekends in a row. The first weekend we made it for a group of five, and we made it just as directed - in little ramekins. We did leave out the prosciutto, however, and substitute ham with a little cream and thyme instead. We used fresh yellow tomatoes from the farmers market - they were delicious!

The recipe is utterly simple: chop some ham (or prosciutto) into ramekins. Add a slice of tomato, break in an egg, shake on salt and pepper, and bake for 12 minutes in a 375° oven. Presto - baked eggs.

We just had one problem: the eggs took fully twice that amount of time to bake. Yes, we like our eggs runny. Yes, we had an oven thermometer. But the eggs simply did not bake in that amount of time.

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We tried the recipe again the next weekend for our DIY wedding flower-arranging brunch. This time we cracked 18 eggs into a couple of casserole pans for easier prep and serving. We chopped more tomatoes, basil, and smoked ham for the base.

Again, the eggs took much longer than expected to bake. They were still delicious, though!

We have a couple theories. We wonder if we needed to cover them (Bittman doesn't specify this, but other baked egg recipes do). We also wonder if putting our ramekins in a dish, as we did, might have interfered with their baking.

Regardless, we still have a wonderful easy recipe for weekend brunch for a crowd. We just know to start a little earlier.

• Get the recipe here: Baked Egg With Prosciutto and Tomato at the New York Times

Related: More brunch recipes and ideas here!

(All images: Friend Michelle, unofficial wedding photographer and paparazza extraordinaire, via Flickr)