Eggs: Not Over, But Easy

May 10, 2016

ruth_fall_1591The markets are filled with eggs – teal, tender blue, pewter, tan – and I can’t resist their new-laid beauty. Each time I crack one open I’m stunned, all over again, by the flash of that bright marigold yolk.

You can scramble them, of course, or fry them, boil them, bake them into cakes.  You can whip them into souffles. But the eggs of spring deserve a starring role, and I can’t think of a better one than this.

Shirred Eggs with Potato Puree

4-5 yukon potatoes (about 1 pound)

one teaspoon sea salt

freshly ground pepper

1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)

heavy cream

 4 beautiful spring eggs

Peel the potatoes, cut them into half inch slices, put them into a pot and cover them with an inch of cold water. Add the salt, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the flesh. Drain.

Put the potatoes through a ricer. If you don’t have one, use a potato masher or simply a fork to break up and mash the flesh. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Slowly melt the butter in a sauce pan over a low flame and stir in half a cup of cream.  Whisk the mixture, in a slow stream, into the potatoes and watch them transform themselves into a smooth, seductive puree. Season to taste.

Heat an oven to 375 degrees and put a kettle of water on to boil.

Butter 4 ramekins and put about an inch of potato puree into each one. Carefully break an egg into a saucer, and then let it slip onto its soft bed of puree. Repeat for each ramekin.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set the ramekins into a deep baking dish. Pour boiling water around the ramekins until each one is about halfway submerged (be careful not to splash yourself or the contents of the ramekins). Set the baking dish in the oven for about 8 minutes, until the whites just begin to set.

Spoon a tablespoon of cream over the egg in each ramekin and bake for another 5 minutes or so, until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft and slightly runny.

garnish with any or all of the following:

grey sea salt

chopped chives


grated cheese

Serve immediately to 4 lucky people. 

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