Shirred Eggs are a type of baked eggs, and are a super-simple way to turn the humble egg into an enticing meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eggs are cracked over a bed of garlicky mushroom and spinach in small dishes, topped with a dash cream and parmesan then baked until just-set. Bread for dunking is definitely not optional!
Baked Eggs (Shirred Eggs)
Baked Eggs can be as simple as cracking eggs into a muffin tin, then popping it in the oven. All good – but, well, kinda humdrum. 🤷🏻♀️
These shirred eggs though? They’re cooked on a bed of garlicky mushrooms and spinach. We drizzle the eggs with just a touch of cream and give it all a shower of parmesan before popping in the oven. The cream melds with eggs as they bake, yielding bubbling, custardy, runny-yolks-with-set-whites perfection!
Tasty egg, odd name: What are shirred eggs?
Shirred eggs get their name from the traditional dish in which they are baked, a small gratin dish called a shirrer. Unlike French oeufs en cocotte or coddled eggs, shirred eggs are not baked immersed in a water bath.
These days, “shirred eggs” is used to name any eggs baked this way, usually with a bit of butter and cream, and served in the baking dish.
There’s endless possibilities for ingredients you can marry with your shirred eggs. Ham, flaked smoked fish, fresh herbs, breadcrumbs, different cheeses, tomato (like Shakshuka), cooked veg like asparagus, capsicum, artichoke … even shaved truffle! 😍 The list goes on – hatch your own shirred eggs creations!
Ingredients in Shirred Baked Eggs
Here’s what you need to make these Shirred Eggs baked on a bed of buttery and garlicky spinach and mushrooms:
Eggs – Fridge-cold, if you’re dead set on runny yolks like I am! Fridge-cold eggs slows down the cooking of the yolks, which set at a lower temperature than the whites. If you use room temperature eggs, you’ll find by the time the whites are set, the yolks aren’t runny any more.
Mushrooms – I’ve just used white mushrooms, but anything will work here. If you have access to fresh wild mushrooms, they’ll be even better (*jealous!)
Spinach – I’ve used baby spinach here for ease. You can easily switch it out for sliced English spinach, kale, silverbeet leaves (Swiss chard), or anything similar.
Garlic, thyme and butter – For cooking the spinach and mushroom bed. Feel free to switch out the thyme for other herbs of choice! Tarragon or rosemary would be lovely, or a pinch of mixed dried herbs.
Cream and parmesan – For topping the eggs. The cream protects the egg so it doesn’t dry out in the oven, and the cheese forms a thin and delicious crust. Plus, well, you know. Cream and cheese. Makes everything tastier. 🤷🏻♀️
How to make baked eggs
Cook mushrooms – Start by cooking the mushrooms until golden. Add the garlic towards the end, else it will burn before the mushrooms are done.
Wilt spinach – When the mushrooms are done, toss the spinach in and stir just until wilted. This literally takes 30 seconds.
Divide between ramekins – Divide the mushroom mixture between the ramekins.
Egg – Make a shallow crater in the surface of the mushroom mixture so when you rack the eggs in, the yolk settles in the middle. This will also encourage even cooking of the yolk. If the yolk sits up against the wall of the ramekin, the part touching the ramekin will overcook.
Top with cream and parmesan – Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, drizzle over cream, then parmesan.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C / 390°F / (180°F fan) for runny yolks and just-set whites. Check at 12 minute mark – if your ramekins have lower sides or your oven is hotter etc, it may cook faster.
To serve, sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika (optional) or even cayenne if you like it hot (definitely optional!), chives (optional), and with hot crusty bread for dunking (not optional!).
When to serve Baked Eggs
The obvious answer: breakfast and brunch.
When I make it: lunch and dinner.
Some people might find one egg a little on the light side, portion-wise, for a breakfast. But with bread, I find it’s enough. And you know I have a hearty appetite!
Having said that, if you have a larger ramekin, feel free to double up on the eggs. Just scale up the cream and parmesan, and adjust the bake time as required. Or if you prefer, you can also make Shirred Eggs in one larger baking dish. Now you’re free to scale it up to your heart and tummy’s content! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
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Baked Eggs with Mushrooms (Shirred Eggs)
Mushroom Spinach Filling:
- 30g / 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 200g / 7oz mushrooms , sliced thinly (0.3cm / 1/8″)
- 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp cooking / kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 4 large eggs , fridge cold (Note 1)
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup thickened cream (heavy cream)
- 4 tbsp parmesan , freshly grated
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- 2 tsp chives , finely chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F (180°C fan). Lightly oil or butter four ramekins – 300ml / 10oz (1 1/4 cups).
- Cook mushrooms: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook mushrooms until starting to go golden on the edges, 3 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for further 1 minute until mushrooms and garlic are golden.
- Wilt spinach: Add spinach and stir for 30 seconds, just until wilted.
- Fill ramekins: Divide mushroom mixture evenly into the ramekins. Make a slight dent in the middle, crack eggs in (yolk should settle in centre). Sprinkle each egg with pinch of salt and pepper, drizzle with cream, pile on parmesan.
- Bake: Bake in oven for 12 – 15 minutes until egg whites are just set and yolks are cooked to your liking (I like runny!). Check it at 12 minutes – hotter ovens, lower walled ramekins etc can make them cook faster. Take out of oven slightly undercooked as egg will keep cooking.
- Paprika: Sprinkle smoked paprika and chives on top, serve immediately with warm bread for dunking!
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