eggs baked in cream

eggs baked in cream

Okay, my dears. Let’s put those take-out menus away for the night. You won’t need them this evening – I’ve got something better for you. In fact, I can offer you dinner in less than half an hour, and you can sip wine while you wait for it to cook. You like that? I thought so. Ready? Okay then.

Here’s what you do. Come home hungry and preferably a bit worn out by the day. Crave something comforting and warm. And be hell-bent on making your own dinner, but not breaking a sweat. The next part should be easy. I know you can do this and I know you’ll be stellar at it.

Find a few ingredients that you probably have lying around your kitchen anyway: eggs, onions (or leeks!), cream, some herbs. Really, any herbs will do, even the dry ones, but your fresh ones will be magical here; and make yourself a baked egg. It’s the perfect eat-alone food. Really.

dramatis personae

Last week, CBS’s The Early Show came to my apartment to find out what I eat alone, as they were doing a segment based on Deborah Madison’s new book. I showed them a plate of herring and potatoes, some pelmeni and this egg baked in cream. These were some of the easy go-to dishes I make for myself. The herring and pelmeni remind me of my childhood in Russia, and this egg is the perfect one-person meal: quick, easy, healthy and comforting. Best of all, no fancy ingredients are needed – this recipe requires things that are probably already pantry staples.

topped with harissa

The thing is, that it’s so easy for us, at least here in New York, to pick up the phone and order take out. We have our favorite restaurants on speed-dial and we even know what we want without having to glance at the menu. But here’s the thing, making these eggs for dinner, you’re really taking care to nourish yourself. You know exactly what goes into this meal. It is wholesome, nourishing, warm. And it cooks in minutes. In fact, it cooks faster than take-out arrives. I think there’s comfort in making something for yourself. It’s a little bit indulgent and even somewhat meditative. Layering your leeks, spreading harissa, gently sliding the egg on top, and pouring those few spoons of cream for softer, richer flavor. Simplicity can be luxurious too.

Of course, it was my most embarrassing, dark secret (not anymore!) admission – my love of bologna sandwiches – that made the cut on the television segment, and not this glorious egg. Of course, it serves me right, being so low-brow in my guilty indulgences. I should, in my defense, add however, that the bologna I had in mind, is what the Russians refer to as Doktoraskaya bologna – which I get in Russian delis. The Russian stuff is seriously good, and once you try it, you will never go back to your old bologna again. I promise you.

eggs baked in cream

And while this dish never got mention, I think it’s something you should try your hand at. Unless you have Russian bologna on hand. In which case, I say, make yourself a sandwich. And please – invite me over.

But wait! Can’t we watch this infamous clip of your bologna love?
Ah, yes, of course! Here is the clip of me embarrassing myself on national TV!

Eggs Baked in Cream
Adapted from The New York Times

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup sliced leeks, light green and white parts only or caramelized onions
1-2 teaspoons harissa (spicy Tunisian roasted pepper paste)
2 sprigs parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 large egg
2 tbsp or so half-and-half
coarsely ground black pepper
grilled or toasted bread slices (I highly recommend a fragrant, porous, rustic bread for this endeavor. It’ll prove to be a great vehicle for your egg yolk, into which you can dip the bread. Sliced, soft bread is not appropriate for this dish, even though it’s an eat-alone kind of a meal.)


1. With a rack set in the middle of the oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Melt butter over medium heat in a small sauté pan and add sliced leeks along with a splash of water and a pinch or two of salt. Cook until leeks are tender, soft, and caramelized about 20 minutes. (Usually, I have caramelized leeks or onions lying around in my fridge, remainders from another dish I made before, so they’re already cooked).

3. Transfer the leeks (or onions) to a ramekin or a small baking dish and line the bottom of the dish with them. Sprinkle a few parsley leaves on top, reserving a few bits for garnish. Spread, in a thin layer, the harissa atop the herbs.

4. Crack the egg and gently slide it into the middle of the dish. Add the half-and-half so it covers the white. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Bake your egg for 8-12 minutes (I usually set my timer to 10 minutes, and my oven gets it just right). You want to make sure the white is set.

6. Serve immediately with grilled or toasted bread.

Serves 1 hungry, tired person, intent on making his own dinner that night.


  • kamran siddiqi

    Haha! My kind of thing for a quick weeknight dinner! And this bologna that you talk about makes me want to try a few pieces. I loathe boring ‘ol processed bologna, but if it’s seriously as good as you say it is- I’ve got to try it!

  • Winnie

    This eggs baked in cream looks oh so wonderful in your photos…
    Judging from the recipes you post, I was having an awfully hard time seeing you as a bologna lover, but now that I know it’s special Russian bologna, it makes a little more sense! Congrats on the segment again!

  • Katie @ Cozydelicious

    This is totally my favorite eat-alone meal. Whenever my husband isn’t home I make baked eggs (he’s not much of an egg fan – too bad for him). My favorite version lately is with leeks and blue cheee. But the harissa here looks awesome. Yum!

  • diva

    These looked so good and will probably make the best breakfast for me ever. Good shout on the cream :) x

  • Emily

    Hello Olga,

    May I just say that I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog. Gorgeous photos and I’m lovin’ the recipes which I’ve just read.

    Egg baked in cream to me is a very soothing comfort food. It’s versatile and almost a guaranteed success in making it! Great idea for adding harissa to balance the richness of egg and cream.

  • Vanessa

    I bake eggs and cream for breakfast with whatever I have on hand (leeks and bacon are great…) but I have always had trouble getting the temperature and the consistency of the egg right. Look forward to trying this!

  • kickpleat

    I loved your tv clip! Too cute and for the baked eggs, sounds perfect. I’ve made it for breakfast before and I just might make it for my breakfast today. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • emily

    This looks super yummy! I’ll have to buy some leeks just for this : )

    And now also I want to go track down some of that Doktoraskaya bologna as well!

    Btw, I just found your blog and really love it! I am in the opposite situation of you – I am from the States and moved to Belarus, which everyone in the states thinks is Russia : )

    Anyway, looking forward to more yummy recipes!

  • Radish

    Emily – I think you should be able to find Doktorskaya anywhere they sell deli meats. It’s horribly addictive, I must warn you! :)

  • Angela

    This looks really delicious! Reminiscent of some Asian custard dishes I had growing up.

    I love the simplicity of this dish. I just discovered your blog too, and I’m so happy I did.

  • Jess

    Olga, you could not have been cuter on that clip! Especially with that dramatic soundtrack accompanying your confession. It was perfect. And hey, I think your lovely baked egg did, in fact, get a brief cameo between clips, no?

    p.s. – I love baked eggs, and I would be happy to trade you for a bologna sandwich.

  • Radish

    Jess – thank you so much!! I think the soundtrack made it kind of hysterical. Yes, the did show the egg briefly, but I hope that I could’ve talked about it. No matter – it was kinda fun :) and thanks for your lovely words! Eggs for bologna trade? Count me in!

  • Velva

    Eggs baked in cream sounds divine. We often during the week bake eggs with herbs, and serve up with a couple of pieces of crusty toasted bread. Delicious.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Loved it.

  • noëlle {simmer down!}

    I often scramble a couple eggs for a weeknight supper, but this looks infinitely more sophisticated. My only hesitation is heating up the oven for one little dish- do you think this could be made in my convection/ toaster oven? Maybe I’ll have to do some experimenting…

  • Radish

    Noelle – I definitely think you can do it in a convection oven / toaster oven – I would experiment with cooking times through.

  • David

    I have never seen or heard of this dish before, and now I feel like making it right away.
    BTW, you have no idea how much I love your blog!

  • Radish

    David – thank you so much! And I am a huge huge fan of yours as well!! I hope you like these baked eggs. I’m positively obsessed!

  • emiglia

    No worries–everyone has an embarrassing comfort food. I’ve been known to spoon cold tomato sauce from the jar. This looks like a good reason to actually make dinner though… yum!

  • Raluca

    Olga, do you have a recipe for chicken skin Kishka? A friend of mine wants to make it for a friend of hers who is sick and I have no idea where to get a recipe. your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!


  • Radish

    Raluca – you know, I don’t. It’s a super-traditional Eastern-European Jewish food. But if you shoot me an email to my sassyradish account, we could find a suitable recipe together! How does that sound?

  • Charlotte

    Baked eggs in cream. How delicious! Takes me back as my mum used to make baked eggs all the time and now that I find myself craving them she isn’t around for me to ask what she did. And it’s the second time in a week I’ve loved a recipe calling for harissa which means I need to go find some now!

  • Sasha

    Thank you for introducing me to eggs baked in cream. Beyond amazing. Just found you and wanted to say how amazing your blog is!

  • cauliflower soup with parmesan and harissa « Sassy Radish

    […] As I was digging around in my fridge, looking at my nearly-wilted carrots and setting them aside for my vegetable “stock bag”, I happened upon a head of cauliflower. It was still holding its own, but had a couple of smallish brown spots. It wasn’t rotting, but it needed to be given a new purpose, a new life. It was going to become soup. And with it, I realized that in the process of cooking here, I’ve become a much more resourceful cook. I delight in not throwing out ingredients, in finding different ways to use them, in stretching them further and further. A roast chicken leaves behind a carcass that can be used to make flavorful stock. Sauteed leeks can make an excellent nest for a baked egg. […]

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