Traditional French-style baked eggs are usually prepared in individual ramekins. This recipe uses a giant muffin pan (remember when they were all the rage?). The bread acts as an edible basket, cradling the savory ingredients and gently baked egg. If you gave away your muffin pan or never bought one, feel free to use 8- or 10-ounce ramekins. Also, a sweet French baguette is not sweet like a coffee roll; rather, the dough is made from baker’s yeast and doesn’t have the tang of a sourdough baguette. MAKES 4 SERVINGS OF BAKED EGGS
• 24 thin slices sweet French baguette
• 3 tablespoons butter, melted
• 3 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
• 1 cup finely sliced yellow onions
• 4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
• 4 jumbo eggs
• Salt and pepper, for seasoning
• 2 tablespoons chopped chives
1. Fill 2 sections of a 6-mold muffin pan with water 2/3 of the way.
2. For the remaining 4 molds, brush insides of each and both sides of bread slices with melted butter. Place 2 slices of bread on the bottom of each mold; fit 4 slices around sides of each mold so that slices rest on top of bottom slices. If slices are too big, adjust by tearing off a portion of the last slice or eliminating the last slice all together.
3. Cook pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta from skillet and place in a bowl; set aside. Discard all but about 1 teaspoon of grease. To same skillet, sauté onions over medium-low heat until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Divide sautéed onions evenly between 4 prepared molds; spread evenly so that the bread bottoms are completely covered. Divide pancetta evenly between molds and sprinkle on top of onions. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon goat cheese on top of each prepared mold. Working with one prepared mold at a time, crack an egg and gently allow the white to slide out of its shell into prepared mold with the yolk centered in the middle. Season the top of each egg with salt and pepper and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon chives on top. Repeat with remaining eggs and chives.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove eggs before completely set, as eggs will continue to cook while cooling. Once eggs have set, about 5 minutes, gently remove and serve baked eggs.
Sophia Markoulakis is a food, home, and garden writer and recipe developer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more of her work at Sophia Markoulakis.
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