I serve this with warmed crunchy bread on the side to scoop into the creamy baked eggs. You can also use pancetta instead of ham, but fry it off beforehand. One of my other variations is a tomato-based sauce spiced with harissa, with a crumble of feta and some chopped olives. Smoked salmon with spinach, cream and a sprinkle of lemon zest is also delicious.
15g salted butter
4 medium free-range eggs
75g cooked ham, shredded
50g Gouda cheese, grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish
2 tbsp single or double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
2. Grease two small ovenproof dishes with the salted butter and crack two eggs into each one. Divide the shredded ham between the two dishes.
3. Place the cheese in a bowl and whisk together with the mustard, nutmeg, thyme and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop the cheese mixture on top of the eggs. Place the dishes on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Garnish the finished baked eggs with a few thyme leaves and a twist of black pepper and serve with toasted bread cut into thin slices for dipping.
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