Shirred eggs are essentially baked eggs, served in individual buttered ramekins or buttered gratin dishes, lightly salted and simply adorned with two to three tablespoonsful of milk, half-and-half or whole cream.
- 2 eggs per person
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of butter per serving
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream per serving.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. *
- Briefly reheat small, oval gratin dishes (6 to 8-oz dishes for each 2-egg serving).
- For each serving, lightly butter individual baking dish, and place briefly in oven to warm.
- Break one or two eggs into each dish. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 tablespoon milk or cream over eggs (skim milk, low-fat milk, half and half, or light cream may be substituted). Spooning a liquid over the eggs helps prevent drying out.
- Bake until whites are just set but yolks are still soft and runny,* generally being careful to neither overcook nor rush the baking. (*or to each individuals preference regarding doneness of yolks)..
- If you prefer to bake a number of servings all together and have a general time, try baking in a preheated 325° F. oven approximately 12 to 14 minutes, depending on number of servings being baked.
* Poppy says he uses a 400° F. to 425° F. oven, depending on the oven and does final baking for about five minutes. Eggs can be baked at a temperature as low as 325° F. for as long as 10-14 minutes. You’ll have to experiment to discover what works best for your palate and in your kitchen. Goal is to have firm whites, and yolks which have thickened but not hardened. For classic French oeufs en cocotte, break one or two eggs in individual buttered baking dishes and cover with a tablespoon of milk or cream. Bake in a 325° F. oven for 10-14 minutes until the whites have firmed and the yolk has thickened but not hardened. (Set pepper and salt grinders alongside for diner’s individual taste.) Shirred Eggs, aka oeufs sur le plat or oeufs miroir, are baked in small gratin dishes directly on an oven rack, sometimes under the broiler, but never in a water bath. In France, this basic method of baking eggs is called “oeufs en cocotte.” For individual servings of baked eggs, use baking dishes (ramekins, custard cups, individual soufflé dishes, or small oval bakers) that just fit the eggs plus the liquid. Il est plus pratique de préparer les ufs sur le plat ou les ufs miroir deux par deux.