The Best Part of Waking Up Is Soft Scrambled Eggs and Homemade Biscuits with Apple Butter. (Folgers sucks.)

On Saturday morning I did a remarkable thing: I made a feast for breakfast. Well, not quite a feast. A mini-feast. A feast in the sense that it took more effort than, say, popping an Eggo waffle in the toaster or making the breakfast I usually eat: air. This was my breakfast plate after it was assembled and though it’s lacking some fruit and some home fried potatoes I’m perfectly content with what’s there.

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What is there? On the left you will see a homemade biscuit topped with homemade apple butter. The apple butter came to us from Heidi Swanson and the biscuits came to us from Cook’s Illustrated. (Both those links will take you to my version of the recipes.) Making biscuits in the morning takes minimal effort, the only hitch might be if you don’t have buttermilk. You can turn regular milk into buttermilk with vinegar or lemon but having the real deal makes a difference. Why not buy some next time you’re in the store and treat yourself to biscuits in the morning? Why do you hate yourself so much?

But I’m not so interested in the biscuits and apple butter, though they were wonderful. I want to wax poetical, for a moment, on the eggs. Study those eggs in the above photo. Don’t they look otherworldly? That’s because I prepared them in the gourmet style, the one that great chefs suggest in fancy cookbooks though it wasn’t a fancy cookbook that led me to this technique, it was someone’s food blog. Whose? I don’t remember but it’s someone who reads this site because I found it after they left a comment. Do you know who you are? Show yourself in the comments and I will commend you with medals and plaques and ribbons and sashes!

The technique is so simple that I can’t imagine anyone messing it up, it simply requires patience. And it is soooooooo soooooooo worth it. Every “o” in the previous sentence magnifies the “worth it” by ten so you should take me seriously. By cooking them slow like this they take on a custardy richness that’s difficult to believe considering that the same substance on a high heat would taste like burnt rubber.

Here’s how you do it:

Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a non-stick pan on MEDIUM heat. Crack three eggs into a bowl [*six, if making for two people], break them up with a fork, and then pour them into the non-stick pan. At this point, lower the heat to very low and begin stirring. Keep stirring. Stir, stir, stir and do it for 30 minutes. Ok, you can take breaks. Ok, you can occasionally turn up the heat. But take your time. It looks like this while you do it:

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I confess that I did turn up the heat a bit prematurely but only a small notch. This small notch, though, made the difference in getting it done faster. Next time I’ll be more patient. Either way, these scrambled eggs were the best I’ve ever had and I made them! That’s saying a lot. Give it a shot and start your day in style. And please, for the love of God, don’t use Pam for this method. And use real eggs not egg beaters from a carton. (These last two sentences were NOT intended for my mother.)

24 comments

  1. I know who it is! It’s from Well Fed.

    And I never eat brekkie but when we made scrambled eggs, that’s how we make it … never the dry stuff that seems to be so popular.

  2. Also, you can cook them a little faster, and when they’re just short of done, ie. still just a little bit liquid, kind of (is this not accurate enough? Sorry, but you kind of have to see it) then pour in a little cold milk or cream. This’ll stop the eggs cooking and keep ’em at the just-cooked stage, and also add some, erm, creaminess.

    It’s the French way.

    And now for a scrambled egg horror story:

    I used to work with a chef who would take a whole lot of eggs at the start of a shift and microwave them into rubber. Then, when the orders came in for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, he’d spoon some into a pan with some cream and mash them up over heat. Reaaally nasty stuff.

  3. I find it helps me if I sing The Beastie Boys’ “Slow and Low” [slow and low that is the tempo] as I cook scrambled eggs. You know, sort of like a mnemonic device, only with dancing.

  4. Charlie: That sounds absolutely dreadful; almost put me off _my_ breakfast…

    As for a feast, well, I haven’t had a real breakfast since last year, so good job, I say!

  5. Mmmm – I’ll have to try that the next time I make eggs for myself.

    My husband hates “runny” eggs. He’ll only eat them scrambled dry, and he loves them even more if they are a bit brown on both sides. Ugh.

  6. It’s definitely from Grant at well fed, wellfed.typepad.com. I’m sure because I read the same post and thought, “Wow, I have to make eggs that way!” Clearly, great minds think alike.

  7. I did recently post a recipe for slow-cooked scrambled eggs, although I got my recipe from Wednesday Chef. It’s such a nice recipe isn’t it, but I notice that you didn’t use any creme fraiche. If you think it’s good without, definately add some creme fraiche when you scramble them, before adding them to the pan. It’s unbelievable.

  8. *Definitely* don’t use a spray oil on non-stick. The propellants will gum up the surface and over time you’ll find things stick regardless of *what* you use to try to prevent it.

  9. Who has time to wait 30 minutes for eggs to cook in the morning? I have my own method that results in lovely soft scrambled eggs and only takes about 3 minutes. I use a 6-inch cast iron pan -I’ve had it for years. Melt some Real Butter – no margarine here. Break 2 eggs in a bowl and add about 2 T. cream or whole milk. Then slice up about a tablespoon of creamcheese into small lumps and put it in the uncooked eggs. Pour the whole thing into the small cast iron pan- the small is critical, turn heat down to medium and scramble. Remove from heat when they’re done Just Right. The creamcheese has melted; the flavor is great, the texture is perfect.

  10. M.F. K. Fisher wrote about making eggs this way. When I made them, I discovered the reason why I had never liked scrambled eggs before. These were incredibly flavorful and creamy. On the other tongue, my husband hated them, but he hates all custardy jiggly things and I love them. Check out this month’s MSL if you like egg desserts – floating islands!

  11. Very interesting. I shall try it–my eggs always come out too firm. But I’m still getting used to my gas burners.

  12. Yum! I live in Bali and its all about the eggs here!!! No self respecting indonesian would eat a meal without eggs being a part of it!!! But eggs and rice can be so boring(when you eat it 3times a day!)!!! Bring on those eggs and scones, although I think I would have had to go for a few mushrooms fried in sage butter and some bacon….and I always put some cream in at the last minute for creamy eggs!

  13. Well I’m with you on nothing but real butter for eggs (or pretty much anything else!)!

    On the eggs I’ll have to try them this way though I am really of the lightly scrambled school in general – liking them just barely done.

    I cheat on my biscuits a bit – I use Bisquick (gasp!) but I replace the milk with real buttermilk and add freshly chopped thyme and a handful of finely grated parmesan or romano cheese. I rarely admit they aren’t totally from scratch and most people rave about how they are the best biscuits they’ve ever had…..

    Now all you have to do is add some creamy grits and you have yourself a meal!

  14. Although I’m sure the eggs are wonderful, and I agree totally about real butter for eggs, the time won’t work during the week for me; I’ll save it for the weekend…Thanks!

  15. I love eggs of pretty much any caliber – soft, hard, wet, dry, fluffy, well…you get the idea. rubbery eggs sound sort of weird though. but anyway – “eggs”elent post AG, keep up the great work!

    Also, here is another quick trick for eggs that a mom of an ex-girlfriend taught me: grate some parmesan into the mix – damn is it tasty! bon appetite foodie freaks!

  16. I made this eggs for dinner, the night I read your post. I must admit, in the back of my mind i was a bit concerned that i wasn’t familiar enough with the fuzzy line between “somewhat raw” and “slightly cooked”, though. I didn’t get sick, and it was delish on my bagel, so I’m assuming it was all okay!

    Oh, also, I mixed chive sour cream into the eggs, and added chopped green onion near the end of cooking. Fabuloso!

  17. I’ve never heard of this egg technique, and I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to scrambled eggs, my favorite way to have them. I can’t wait to try it out, especially for my 19 year old sister– If she can mush it, gush it or basically eat it without use of her teeth, she’s in heaven.

    Charlie: Yech! How terrible! I’ve seen some good time saving techniques in restaurants, but that has got the be the most criminal one I’ve ever heard.

    Cook’s Illustrated has perhaps the best biscuit recipe I’ve ever tried. Biscuit making is really like the golf of cooking– you can spend your whole life perfecting such seemingly simple steps.

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