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Baked Eggs (Oeufs en cocotte)

by Elizabeth David from At Elizabeth David’s Table

Flavoured simply with butter and tarragon, these baked eggs, known as oeufs en cocotte, from Elizabeth David, are an easy brunch dish, perfect for the weekend.


A lump butter
1 egg (per person)
1 large tpsp cream

Essential kit

You will need individual fireproof dishes.

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Have your little fireproof china dishes ready with a good lump of butter in each, and an egg for each person ready broken into separate saucers. Put the little dishes into the oven at 190°C/gas 5 and take them out as soon as the butter has melted, slide an egg into each, pour a large tablespoon of cream on to the egg, avoiding the yolk, return them to the oven. They will take 4–5 minutes to cook, allowing perhaps ½ a minute less for those on the top shelf.

If you leave them too long, the yolks get hard and the dish is ruined, so be on the alert to see that they are taken out of the oven at the exact moment.

Experience and knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of one’s own oven are the mediums of success here. No pepper or salt should be added, except at table, but a very little cut fresh tarragon when they come out of the oven is an acceptable addition.

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