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How to Make Baked Eggs Any Way You Like

Also known as “shirred eggs,” eggs baked in ramekins with cream are the easy yet impressive breakfast trick you need to master.


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baked eggs

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell

Runny yolk lovers: this one's for you. Because with a baked egg, not only do you get that runny yolk, you get a whole ramekin full of runny, rich goodness to dip your bread into or to eat with a spoon.

Baked eggs are a fall and winter food for me. They're warming and decadent. And they give me a reason to turn on the oven on a crisp cool morning. I like to keep mine simple: I'm happiest with a baked egg made with just butter and cream, sprinkled with salt and pepper and maybe some chives or fresh herbs just before serving. There's comfort in that simplicity. You really don't need anything else, except of course a piece of toast for dipping. But baked eggs are also a willing and flexible canvas for a wide array of mix-ins, and adding some additional ingredients can make them feel more special and/or more like a proper breakfast.


This is how runny your baked egg should be: perfect for dipping toast into. This one's made with just cream, and I topped it off with some fresh chives and black pepper before serving. (Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell)

The trick to making baked eggs is to cook them just to the point where the yolk is still totally runny and the white is nicely set but still soft enough to be scoop-able. This isn't hard to do—you just need to know when to pull them out of the oven and the right ratio of cream to egg to follow. Once you've got that memorized, you can make baked eggs any way you like them—and you won't ever need a recipe again.

Here's how to do it:


Before you do anything, generously butter each ramekin. (Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell)

1. Preheat Your Oven and Butter Some Ramekins

Set a rack in the middle of your oven—this will help ensure that the eggs bake evenly—and turn it up to 375°F. While your oven heats, grease the ramekins you're going to use to bake the eggs in. You want to use the smallest oven-safe dishes you have, one per person. Around 4 ounces is a good size, and they can be either the deep or the shallow kind—both work.


Here, I'm scooping a mix of sautéed spinach and wild mushrooms into each of my buttered ramekins. (Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell)

2. Start by Adding Your Mix-Ins, If Using

Before you crack your eggs into the buttered ramekins, add any mix-ins you'd like to use to each dish. Each ramekin can hold about 1/4 cup of mix-ins, not more. Anything that you think will taste good with a runny egg will work as a mix-in: sautéed spinach and mushrooms, cubes of ham, chopped tomatoes, pieces of cooked bacon or sausage, crumbled feta, pieces of cooked asparagus, or even whatever leftover roasted vegetables you have tucked in your fridge. Whatever you pick, assemble the mix-ins in an even layer on the bottom of each ramekin.


One day I will perfect the one-handed egg-cracking move. Until then, I'll keep using both hands. (Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell)

3. Crack an Egg Into Each Ramekin


Make sure to get that heavy cream over the top of the yolk—it helps protect it while it bakes. (Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell)

4. Pour 1 Tablespoon of Cream Over Every Egg

This is the only ratio you need to memorize: 1 Tbsp. of heavy cream for every egg. That heavy cream is what makes a baked egg special: It's sort of like you're poaching the egg in cream, and that heavy cream help protects the egg and ensures that it gently and evenly cooks, and also provides a built-in creamy sauce for the egg. Make sure to pour it over the yolk and the whole surface of the egg. I like to use my trusty mini measuring cup to do the pouring.

5. Bake the Eggs for 8–10 Minutes

If you're making more than one baked egg, line your ramekins up on a rimmed baking sheet and put the baking sheet on the center rack of your oven. Set a timer for 8 minutes, and then check to see if they're done. You may need to bake for up to 10 minutes, but start checking at 8.

6. Learn How to Know When It's Done

To test if your baked egg is fully cooked but still runny enough to dip toast into, you really need to look at AND touch the egg—using your eyes alone may be deceiving. The cream should be bubbling around the edges of the ramekin. Give the ramekin a gentle shake: the egg yolk itself should jiggle very slightly when you do this, and the whites around it should be firmer. To be extra certain, gently poke the top of the yolk with the pad of your index finger (carefully!) then release it. The yolk should indent easily under the pressure of your finger, and then bounce back to round when you release. If it undulates and makes waves like a water bed under pressure, it's not quite done. If it feels firm when you poke, it's overdone. A baked egg can go from underdone to overdone in less than 30 seconds. If it's underdone, pop it back in the oven for another 30 seconds and then check it again.


One, two, three little baked-egg-with-spinach-and-mushroom breakfasts, hot out of the oven. (Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell)

7. Serve With Toast for Dipping

When you pull the baked eggs out of the oven, wait until the cream stops bubbling (about 2 minutes) before you dig in, so nobody burns their tongue. Sprinkle the eggs with some salt and pepper, then add a bit of fresh chopped herbs if you like. Serve with toast—it's great for mopping up the creamy sauce.

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This post originally appeared on Epicurious and was published September 21, 2018. This article is republished here with permission.

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