For such an elegant little dish, eggs en cocotte are remarkably simple to make. We can even do it half-awake on a Saturday morning while we're waiting for the coffee to brew. Oh, and then the absolute luxury of dipping that first piece of buttered toast into the warm yolk. Yes, we'll be making these eggs this weekend. What about you?This dish is sometimes called baked eggs or shirred eggs, but all the recipes are generally the same. You butter a few small ramekins and sprinkle the bottom with a little cheese. Then break one or two eggs (how ever many fit) into each ramekin without breaking the yolk. Top the eggs with a spoonful of cream, some salt and pepper, and another sprinkling of cheese. Set the egg-filled ramekins in a bain marie and bake in a 350° oven until the whites are set but the yolks are still loose.
We like to eat our eggs en cocotte with plenty of buttered toast that's been cut into strips. These are perfect for dipping into the yolk and scooping up the egg whites. If we're serving these at a brunch, we make a big plate of toast to pass around!
Now and again, we like to mix things up a bit and add a few more ingredients to the eggs. A bit of crumbled bacon on the bottom completes the breakfast trifecta. We also like chopped tomatoes, caramelized onions, cooked mushrooms, or any other favorite vegetable. For the cheese, gruyere is traditional, but don't let that stop you! It's very very hard to go wrong when it comes to baked eggs!
Here's a basic recipe if you'd like one to follow: