About once a year I read Julia Child’s autobiographical book My Life in France, and I’m always struck by the sincere and exuberant way with which she approaches France, French cooking, and life in general. I’ve probably read it three or four times by now, flipping back and forth to favorite scenes or descriptions, trying to imagine what it must have been like to be abroad for the first time in a France that was only just coming back to life after the horrors of the second world war. Usually when I read My Life in France, I have my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking nearby, and I’ll turn to it often to see how a certain dish she describes is made. After doing this for awhile, my eye usually lights on something I want to cook, which is how I came to this recipe, a rich dish of eggs and cream baked in a ramekin until just set. I’ve mentioned before how much I love eggs, and this is one of my favorite ways to eat them.
Oeufs en Cocotte (Eggs Baked in Ramekins)
(from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1 by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle)
Preheat your oven to 375. Fill a pan safe for both stove-top and oven with about 3/4 an inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Butter the ramekin, saving just a dot of butter for later, then pour in one tablespoon of the cream and add a pinch of salt. If using herbs such as parsley, chives, chervil, or tarragon, add them to the cream. Place the ramekin into the simmering water. Once the cream has gotten hot, crack the eggs into the ramekins and pour on the remaining tablespoon of cream; place the dot of butter on top. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the whites are just set (they will still tremble slightly in the ramekins). Season to taste with salt and pepper – and Enjoy!