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Hens Egg Custard in Egg Shell with Mushroom Ragout

Hens Egg Custard in Egg Shell with Mushroom Ragout

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This is the perfect amuse bouche for a special celebratory meal.

  • Makes : 6 |

  • Prep Time : 30 mins |
  • Cook Time : 20 mins
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The custard recipe is inspired by Thomas Keller’s ‘French Laundry’. Most people bake the custard in a water bath; I prefer steaming the custard like the Japanese make a ‘Chawanmushi’.

empty egg carton
6 chicken egg shells
100 g mushroom ragout
6 phyllo sticks
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chives, chopped

Mushroom Ragout
20 g butter
1 Tbsp (15 ml) onion, chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
300 g mixed mushrooms, finely diced (shimeji, portobellino, oyster, button and porcini)
½ clove garlic, crushed
150 ml cream
2 Tbsp (30 ml) white wine
2 Tbsp (30 ml) brandy
black pepper
salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chives, chopped
½ Tbsp (7.5 ml) parsley, chopped
¼ lemon, juiced

Phyllo Sticks
6 phyllo pastry squares (cut 8×8 cm)
1 tsp (5 ml) butter, melted
Maldon salt
crushed black pepper

Egg Custard
2 eggs (reserved from 6)
160 ml milk
160 ml cream
½ Tbsp (7.5 ml) truffle oil
salt
freshly ground white pepper

Preparing the egg shells for presentation
Using a serrated knife or egg cutter cut the tops off each egg, this can be a frustrating process, so try to be as gentle as possible. If possible, use a Dremel* tool to ensure a clean cut. (*a Dremel tool is a handheld multi-tool that has a rotating cutting/engraving application). Ensure that a small teaspoon can fit through the opening.

Pour out the contents of four of the eggs. Then pour the contents of the remaining two into a separate, medium-sized bowl for use in the custard. Remove the inner membrane from the egg shells, this can be done gently under warm running water.

Allow to dry and place the empty egg shells in egg carton and set aside.

Mushroom Ragout
Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat; add the onions and gently sauté until soft and translucent. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Add the diced mushrooms and cook until soft and lightly caramelised. Add garlic and lightly fry. Add the brandy, white wine and cream. Cook through, but be careful not to over reduce, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Add the parsley and chives and add a squeeze of lemon and set aside.

Phyllo Sticks
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Brush each square of phyllo pastry with melted butter. Roll the pastry to form a ‘cigar’. Season with salt and black pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake until crispy and golden. Remove and set aside.

Egg Custard
Reduce the oven to 135 °C. Warm the cream and milk slightly (not hot) add the salt, pepper and oil and add to the reserved 2 eggs. Blend and then strain through a fine sieve. Place the egg carton in an oven tray; pour the custard mixture into the 6 empty egg shells, fill to ¾ full. Fill the tray ⅔ full with water, cover with foil and steam the filled egg shells for about ten minutes. Remove the egg custards from the oven. Top the custard with a teaspoon of mushroom ragout, sprinkle with chives.

Serve immediately with phyllo sticks.