Coddled eggs are dreamy in endless ways. The texture, the flavor, even the surprising ease of preparation. The eggs, set within a cream-filled ramekin, are cooked ever so gently in a hot water bath soaked with steam until perfectly light and tender. Whatever you do, don't lift the lid! The steam is fundamental in properly cooking the egg and filling.
You can experiment with different mix-ins, but the duo of salty ham and nutty Gruyere is a simple classic that's hard to outplay. This is also the sort of dish you can prep ahead of time and cook when you're ready, making it fail-safe when it comes to entertaining. From the sophisticated breakfast to the humble lunch, this charming dish has a place in any setting.
Gather the ingredients.
Add 4 (4-ounce) ramekins to a large high-sided pan and fill the pan with water until it reaches about three-quarters up the sides of the ramekins (this is generally around the top trim of the ramekins).
Remove the ramekins from the water. To each ramekin, add 2 tablespoons/28 grams ham and 1 tablespoon/14 grams Gruyere. Top each with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of milk. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper and stir together.
Heat the pan of water over high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat until the bubbles have barely subsided.
Crack an egg into each ramekin and carefully place it into the pan. Cover with a clear lid.
Cook for 10 to 11 minutes until the eggs are set with a runny yolk. For a firm yolk, cook for 13 to 14 minutes. If at any time the ramekins rattle about in the water, lower the heat.
Remove the ramekins, garnish with chives, and serve with toasted bread or soldiers.
- Avoid removing the lid from the pan during cooking. This will extinguish the steam, which is needed for cooking.
- Shallow ramekins work best for the steam to properly cook the egg and filling.