My friends Deborah and David are raising a variety of 8 colorful chickens in their backyard. The colorful chickens lay colorful eggs, some of which are a pale turquoise. At the end of a dinner party last night, they sent each guest home with 6 eggs as a sending gift.
This morning I wanted to make something special to show off the lovely flavor of good eggs, so I used a new favorite recipe from Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book. Shirred eggs are eggs that are baked gently in a buttered ramekin. This recipe of shirred lemon eggs takes the simple concept over the top with lemon zest and a touch of cream and parsley. Lemon naturally pairs well with eggs, as we know from Euro Pane’s famous egg salad sandwiches with lemon.
This recipe is dead-easy, but delicate and pretty enough to serve for special occasions. My family made these lemon shirred eggs for our Christmas breakfast this year, but they tasted better today with the fresh eggs. They had a deeper, lovely egg flavor.
I have written this recipe for one person, since the ramekins are assembled individually. Multiply the recipe per number of people.
SHIRRED LEMON EGGS
butter for the ramekin
2 tablespoons heavy cream (separated)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Gouda, Gruyere, or jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste
roughly 3/4 teaspoon minced parsley
Preheat oven to 325F. Liberally butter the ramekin.
Pour 1 tablespoon cream into the bottom of the ramekin. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest over the cream.
Sprinkle the cheese over the cream.
Gently drop an egg into each ramekin.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Measure 1 tablespoon cream and gently spread it over the egg. Scatter the minced parsley over the top.
Bake at 325F for 12-16 minutes, depending on how soft you want your yolk. I prefer a set yolk, so I lean toward 16 minutes. Marion Cunningham serves her’s at 12.
The yolks have a lovely bright orange hue.
Serve them with good toast for breakfast, or alongside a green salad for lunch.