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Problem getting baked eggs to cook right.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have tried baking eggs in custard cups, muffin tins, and on top of toast. I have baked, convection baked, and broiled. Used temps ranging from 300-400. With butter, and or a touch of cream, and even salsa on one occasion. I have used cold eggs and room temp eggs. So far it has been impossible for me to get the whites set but keep the yolk runny... or even the slightest bit soft. Even with the yolk firm the whites still come out uncooked in the area immediately surrounding the yolk. I like my yolks very runny, anything else just isn't worth eating in my opinion. I am at a loss for what to try next, but I am determined to make this work. Suggestions?? Thanks :)

post #2 of 7

Eggs:

There's a method of baking eggs the Brits call "shirring."

 

Preheat your oven to 325 (medium-low). 

 

Butter the gratin or cocotte well.  Break one or two eggs into it.  Season the eggs as desired.  Use a spoon to drizzle a 1 tbs of cream per egg over them. 

 

Bake the eggs, uncovered in the center of the oven.  (Uncovered will give you better gloss, better texture and purer colors.  Covered with foil are very slightly more forgiving.)  Check after 10 minutes.  Eggs will likely take 11 - 15 minutes, depending.  

 

If you like, you may substitute sherry for cream, thus actually "shirring"  (Always wondered, didn't you?)

  

Poach Instead. 

No fail alternative.

 

Shir Fry: 

Rub an appropriate sized pan with a little bit of vegetable oil.  Heat it to temp over a medium-slow flame.  Remove from the fire and melt a tsp of butter per egg into it.  If the pan is too cool to melt the butter off the heat, return it to the heat.  When the butter is melted return the pan to heat if necessary.

 

Break as many eggs into the pan as desired.  Season their tops with a mix of kosher salt, fresly ground black pepper, and paprika (or cayenne if you prefer); splash them with sherry or madeira, and cover tightly.

 

Cook until the whites are just set.

 

Remove the pan from the flame and shake it until the eggs break free of the bottom.  They will slide out of the pan easily for plating.

 

Traditional alternative

Boil for three minutes exactly in a perfectly fitted case which keeps the yolk more or less centered in the white during cooking, cooking only until the whites are set.  Set the case in a fitted holder, remove its top (case not the holder) and serve.  The case is available wherevery fresh eggs are sold.  It's called "the shell."  

 

Grits:

You have to reduce the heat on your grits after you get them into the water, and slow the cooking process down to a bare simmer.  They'll hold up better that way.  

 

You are building towards one of my favorite meals:  Grits, eggs, fried fish, biscuits, melon.

 

BDL

post #3 of 7

How about cooking them in a bain-marie?  

 

Oven 275

 

Grease your ramekins / cocotte with butter.  Crack 2 eggs in each one.

Put in a deep oven tray, and fill with boiling water, until it reaches 1/3 of the sides of the cocottes.

Cover tightly with aluminium foil, and put in the oven for 20 minutes, until the whites are cooked through.

 

I like to put crispy diced bacon, and a little bit chopped parsley as garnish.

 

post #4 of 7

I dont know what this method is called but I like to cook it sunnyside up then fold it in half.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Problem solved... well sort of

 

BDL I have tried it exactly how you instructed. Hard yolks, still runny whites. And I always cook my grits low and slow. That one is a mystery I don't think I will ever figure out :(  Grits, eggs, biscuits, melon, yum... but fried fish? I will have to think on that one :)

 

eloki, I thought about doing the hot water bath, but I like the idea of baking them on some type of bread with meat and cheese and whatever I care to throw on it.

 

Two days ago I woke up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. Before I even opened my eyes I thought, "Separate the eggs". So that was my trial that day. Toast, topped with bechamel, (wanted grits but knew by the time the egg was done they would have run off into last week) a "nest" of shredded ham, then the egg white. Was planning on topping with some shredded manchego cheese. (sure wish I had never discovered that nasty stuff) Cooked for 13 minutes, the white looked almost set but still soft enough to ease the yolk into, then added the yolk. By the time the white was done the yolk was as hard as my stubborn head.

 

Two frustrating hours later I decided to add the yolk to the "nest" first then top it with the white since the eggs seemed to be baking from the top down. Got everything together on the toast, put the white on and it proceeded to slide right off into a runny mess . I was defeated. Turned around to turn the oven off and noticed that I had had the #@+% thing on broil! No wonder the first one was a brick. I took my latest attempt and... well let's just say I had a mess to clean up.

 

Now for today. I decided to make it this time on a biscuit. Separated the egg, brought the white to room temp while keeping the yolk in the ice box. Figured I needed a larger and more stable "nest" so I made a mixture of the shredded ham, shredded parboiled potato, chives, and the manchego cheese. Looked perfect. I use a 3 7/8 inch biscuit cutter so it was a big "nest". Dropped in the yolk then the white. Beautiful. In the oven, 350. 7 minutes in, the white hasn't even begun to cook. The yolk was suppose to stay under the white. It didn't. After 15 minutes the white is pretty much set with just a tiny bit of "jiggle" surrounding the hard as a... the yolk. I kicked the cabinet, swore like a sailor then went to the ice box and grabbed another 2 eggs. Separated the eggs, scooped out the cooked yolk then broke the uncooked yolks and smeared them all over the biscuit. They warmed instantly but were still smooth and gooey and yummy. So problem almost solved.

 

Why not just make whatever bread, meat, potato, cheese thingy I want then top it with a nice over easy egg you ask? Because I am stubborn and angry. It's a mission.

 

I wonder if it's my oven. I am using a 0.9 cubic foot Warring Pro Convection oven. I have never had any problem baking anything else in it though. Any thoughts?

 

 

 

post #6 of 7

Pipeline.. What BDL proposes above is true shirred eggs, which unless your old like us , you do not see or hear of anymore, even basted gives away ones age. If you want to experiment, hit the whites with a torch after pre heating the dish and then  breaking the eggs onto it. then in a hot  oven.Good Luck and I admire your persistence.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #7 of 7

You may be too demanding in terms of cooked whites and runny yolks for the oven to handle it.  Why make yourself nuts?  Go poached or basted. 

 

I am not old.  Just cranky. 

 

The grits are a puzzlement.  The problem most people have with them is the same as with risotto -- it's always a little more cooked than you think it is.  They cook them to just right, turn off the heat, cover them and (ahem) baste the eggs with a little sherry in the pan.  They plate the eggs, and open the grits pot to find concrete.  

 

It would seem that with yours, not so much.

 

Cook yours to a fare thee well, spread them out on a pan, let them cool and solidify, cut them into diamonds or fingers, and fry in butter. 

 

It took me a while to figure out juk (aka congee).  I could never hit the seasoning level without making it taste weird.  It turned out that the key to success was something no one ever mentioned -- Maggi.   When I tell my Asian friends about discovering juk needs Magg, they just laugh and say, "of course."  Maybe someday the "of course" fairy will slap you upside your head and sprinkle magic dust on your grits. 

 

We can hope,

BDL

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