Shirred eggs

I have been learning to make shirred eggs from Michael Ruhlman's book "Twenty."

I have been slowly working my way through Michael Ruhlman’s Twenty since G. gave it to me for Christmas. I had just read the chapter about eggs and was considering trying the recipe for shirred eggs last week, when I watched an old episode of Glee in which Kurt’s father mentions making shirred eggs. It seemed like a sign to move ahead.

I followed the directions carefully, warming the ramekin and melting a bit of butter in it. I added 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of cream and 2 teaspoons of parmesan and popped the ramekin in the oven for the specified 10 minutes. The whites were still runny at that point, and the directions said to cook the eggs until the whites were just set. I put the eggs back in the oven, but then I waited too long and both the whites and the yolks were solid.

This morning, I tried again, removing the eggs when the whites were set but not the yolks. I was delighted. But then, as I ate my breakfast, working through the cheese and cream, I came across a bit of white that wasn’t set. It slid around on top of the yolks, disgusting me.

I popped the ramekin back in the oven for a couple of minutes. That took care of the bit of runny whites, but now the yolk was solid.

This got me thinking about soft boiling eggs. I have a little egg coddler for that, but I never make soft-boiled eggs because there’s always a bit of white on top that doesn’t set and then if you cook the egg long enough for it to set, the yolk becomes solid and you’ve hard-boiled the eggs.

Maybe this is just how it is? Do people just accept that a little bit of white will still be runny in soft-boiled or shirred eggs? I don’t think I can handle that. That little bit of white is just so slimy.

I think I might have to move on to another kind of egg. Ruhlman’s technique for scrambling looks interesting. Or, I could just continue to custard. I love that. Mmmm, custard.

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