Shirred Eggs

Serves 1

This is a no-recipe recipe, needing only general guidelines, and perhaps an initial experimentation to know the dish and oven, as each changes the time needed for cooking. And everyone likes their eggs cooked differently, some oozy, some firm. Write down the dish, temperature and time that suits you, so next time you will have it as a firm guide.

Nathalie Dupree

Nathalie Dupree is the author of 13 cookbooks, most recently “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathalie dupree.com.

Ingredients

1/4 tablespoon butter

2 eggs per person

Pepper

1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream

Salt

Other herbs or ingredients as desired such as tarragon, garlic, chopped tomato, cooked onion, etc.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of small ovenproof dish sufficient to hold two eggs side by side. Crack the eggs, one by one, and slide into the bowl. (All the better if you put in a bowl first then slide in, to make sure you are clear of egg shell.) Add pepper and any other seasonings or ingredients as desired, avoiding salt, which may toughen the eggs at this time. Pour heavy cream on top to cover, or as much as you like. Move to a small baking pan or put directly into the oven on a rack if living dangerously. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until at desired consistency. Remove dish to a plate. Season with salt if desired. Serve with toast sticks or quarters.