Baked Eggs for a Crowd
The French long ago mastered eggs en cocotte — slightly coddled eggs baked at high heat with butter and cream, which thicken to a gravy as it cooks. There’s no finer way to enjoy an egg. To pull this off for a crowd, a large casserole dish coated with butter and partly filled with heavy cream acts as a bath in which to gently cook the eggs. To dress them up, add smoked salmon, a handful of kale or spinach leaves, thinly sliced ham, halved cherry tomatoes or sliced, cooked mushrooms to the mix before you crack in the eggs. Really anything goes here, but keep the accoutrements light and let the eggs take center stage. Finish with flaky sea salt (those large crystals melt on your tongue in just the right way) and any fresh herb you love.
25 mins total time
5 mins active time
- 2 tbsp butter
cut into small cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 12 eggs
to 16 (depending on your crowd)
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Flaky sea salt
such as Maldon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup mixed herbs
chopped, such as mint, parsley, dill, basil and chives
- 16 pieces toast
or 8 English muffins, halved and toasted
- 1Insert the wire rack into position 8 and set oven to 350°F Bake. While the oven heats, continue to the next step.
- 2Butter a shallow 1 ½-quart shallow baking dish (square or round).
- 3Pour cream in the prepared pan and sprinkle the cubed butter over the top. Add any cooked meat or vegetables, if using. Crack the eggs around the pan and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- 4Once the oven is preheated, place the pan in the oven and start the timer.
- 5Bake until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit runny. If not, give it a bit more time.
- 6Remove from the heat, sprinkle with herbs and more flaky salt, and serve immediately, piping hot, with toasted bread or English muffins and shallow bowls. Drizzle the cream over the top.