I know. My first attempt at baking eggs in cream was a dismal failure because a) I didn't really bake them, and b) I couldn't control the heat on the stove. So this is me trying to atone for such a pathetic performance.
It was Google time. I typed in three key words: "baked" "eggs" "cream" and was amazed at the countless ways you can bake eggs in cream.
The differences lie first of all in the bed you lay your eggs on. Leeks. Onions. Spinach. Cheese. Ham. Bacon. Tomatoes. Your choice of veggies, actually. Then there are the spices. Garlic. Tarragon. Paprika. Parsley. Thyme. You could go all the way to Scarborough Fair, if you want. *sing: Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.* (If you do, remember me to Simon and Garfunkel, will you?) Then you can choose to top the eggs with cheese, or bread crumbs, or salsa, or minced herbs - or stick to the basics and just top them with the cream.
Oh delicious indecision! A smorgasbord of choices where making a mistake would not be an option. But wait, I also found out that the dish goes by other names. Shirred Eggs: oh so veddy veddy Brit. And across the Channel, Oeufs en Cocotte. (Oeuf = egg; Cocotte = the little casserole/ramekin the egg is baked in. And that's it. Nothing to do with coquettes, unlike Pasta Putanesca. But that's another story.)
So let's play a little game. I have the very basic baked egg in cream here:
To make this, I preheated the oven to 325° Then I lightly buttered a ramekin and broke an egg into it. I seasoned this with salt and pepper. Then I spooned 1 tablespoon cream over the egg and put it in the oven. I knew it was done when the white had set completely, while the yolk was just beginning to thicken. It took about 13 minutes. I started checking on it at 10 minutes, actually, but decided to wait another 3, to make sure the yolk was cooked. (I think my stove-top eggsperiment failed because the heat was too high.)
Now choose from this smorgasbord and bake an egg with your stamp on it.
Any one, or a combination of these can be the bed for your baked eggs. Saute the vegetables in butter first, before lining the ramekins with them.
Flavor your eggs with any of these spices:
Finally, pick a topping. Here are three examples of what your baked eggs might look like, depending on how you top them.
Now fill in the blank: Baked Eggs in Cream a la ____________. Name it after yourself, why don't you? And if your name just happens to be Coquette, oooof!