Amanda & Merrill

Soft Scrambled Eggs

by:
September 14, 2010

Soft Scrambled Eggs

- Merrill

First, a confession: I used to hate scrambled eggs. They reminded me of sulfur-infused cardboard. Or insulation. To be fair, my mother's eggs were never dry, but I was so traumatized by the scrambled eggs I encountered everywhere else that I refused to eat even hers growing up.

Years later, I learned how to make creamy, soft scrambled eggs, and now I crave them regularly. The recipe below hinges on a toned-down version of a technique I learned in cooking school involving the use of a double-boiler and whisking the eggs non-stop for about 40 minutes, which I promise I won't subject you to here. But low and slow is the key, as is constant stirring and scraping. I'm usually not a proponent of non-stick cookware (too easily scratched), but in this case, I'm a fan.

Good, free-range eggs are also paramount, for both taste and safety reasons, and they require very little embellishment: I add a small lump of mascarpone or creme fraiche, a dribble of cream, or whatever is around (not milk, which makes them tough), a dash of salt and pepper and nothing else. But I do believe that excellent scrambled eggs need to be cooked in butter -- even in a non-stick pan -- and while we're on the subject, salted butter is my preference. The recipe makes enough for two people, but I usually get it all to myself, as I'm married to someone who is egg averse -- what's more, leftovers can be gently reheated in the microwave, and they still won't remind you of cardboard!

Soft Scrambled Eggs

Serves 2

  • 4 large free-range or organic eggs
  • 1 tablespoons mascarpone, creme fraiche, cream, what have you
  • Dash of salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more for serving
  • Knob of salted butter

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, mascarpone, salt and pepper. Be thorough, but don't worry if there are little bits of mascarpone flecking the egg.

2. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over a medium-low flame. Add the butter and wait until it melts before adding the egg. If the egg starts to cook right away, turn the heat as low as it will go. Using a wooden spatula or spoon, stir the eggs constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan all over in a long, continuous motion. Do this for about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary (raise it a little if the egg touching the pan isn't cooking at all; lower it if it starts to cook quickly or look at all dry).

3. Pull the eggs off the heat when they're still a little custardy-looking, but not runny -- they'll cook a bit more as you pile them onto your plate. Divide the eggs among two warm plates and serve immediately, with toast if you like, and more ground black pepper.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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36 Comments

Gene B. June 9, 2015
Sounds like a very high calorie scrambled eggs, but I'll try it sometime.............<br />
 
angie June 9, 2015
You shouldn't add salt to scrambled eggs during cooking because it can toughen them & in some cases, depending what type of salt you use (rock, fine) it can end up scorching. Whip the raw eggs immediately before adding to the pan, this way, they keep the air in & therefore fluffiness. You can always lift the pan itself off the heat if it's cooking too quickly, while you do that, lower the heat. Eggs will continue cooking even after you take them off the heat so step 3 is perfect :) - with regard to salt, offer it after serving because people then have a choice if they want it or not anyway :)
 
Gene B. June 9, 2015
I have never heard of mascarpone or creme fraische............<br />
 
angie June 9, 2015
Mascarpone is cream cheese, creme fraische is like fresh cream.
 
Sagegreen September 19, 2010
These sound divine. When I want to make my eggs quick and not dry, I add a tablespoon of mayonnaise!
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
LOVE that idea. I bet the tanginess is a nice touch.
 
Waverly September 16, 2010
This is the way I like my eggs too. I've never thought to use anything but cream or half and half. Ricotta, marscapone, creme fraiche? I don't know which to try first!
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Well, keep me posted!
 
torvum September 16, 2010
This sounds like an ideal job for a well-seasoned cast iron pan.<br />Am I the only one that uses these things any more? I actually dislike cooking eggs on anything other than a good'ol cast iron. Everything else makes eggs taste sterile.
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
I've always been nervous that the eggs would stick to my cast iron pan -- but perhaps that's because mine is usually, shall we say, less than perfectly seasoned?
 
DAVILCHICK September 15, 2010
I used 1/2 and 1/2 - that's all I had and it was SCRUMPTOUS! I will never make scrambled eggs any other way. Jean-Yus. Thank you!
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
My pleasure!
 
garyperry September 15, 2010
i hate teflon too, so i swish around a whisk to force the hot oil into the microscopic scratches in muh stainless steel pans, nothing EVER sticks! Perfectly hydrated scramby eggs are ready very quickly
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Wow, cool technique! Thanks for sharing.
 
mrslarkin September 15, 2010
These sound great! I love creamy scrambled eggs. Sometimes I fold in a bit of cream cheese before serving for an extra special treat.
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Oh, wow -- I think you've just seriously upped the ante. Come to think of it, my mother used to fold in some of that soft Laughing Cow cheese, and that was pretty darn good.
 
fineartdaily September 15, 2010
Well, thank you for this! While preparing eggs should be seemingly basic and instinctive - I am among the egg averse and I know that I serve Best Beloved the WORST eggs in the world on those Sundays when I am feeling oh so generous with my time and culinary skills. He would never say a word against my concoctions, but I know he will be so amazed and happy when I spring these on him. Now, can you guide me through the coffee making process? Give me a Diet Coke in the morning and I am good to go, but some people in this house prefer grown-up, hot beverages...
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Well, you're welcome! As for coffee, a confession: I have a Nespresso machine. And I love it.
 
janki September 15, 2010
we make our creamy scrambled eggs with milk all the time and they turn out perfectly. i LOVE creamy scrambled eggs with a bit of lemon.<br /> <br />here's my recipe:<br />http://traderjanki.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/weekend-fare-creamy-scrambled-eggs-with-lemon-and-hash-browns-cooked-in-ghee-clarified-butter/
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
YUM. And thanks for the note re: milk. Will have to take another crack at it one of these days.
 
Oui, C. September 14, 2010
"But I do believe that excellent scrambled eggs need to be cooked in butter"....Amen.<br /><br />
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Double Amen.
 
Midge September 14, 2010
My husband makes eggs using this method and boy are they worth the wait. Will have to clue him on the mascarpone. Thanks Merrill.
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
You're very welcome!
 
lastnightsdinner September 14, 2010
I became obsessed with perfecting soft scrambled eggs at home after tasting the version at Prune, and came up with a similar method to the one you use. I like fairly big curds in mine so I adjust my stir accordingly, and I also love snipping fresh chives or tarragon over the finished product. I'll have to try your way - love the idea of adding mascarpone or (whoo hoo) creme fraiche.
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Sometime I like slightly bigger curds too -- especially if I'm feeling impatient!
 
rpenovich September 14, 2010
Merrill: why does milk make them tough while cream doesn't? I usually use cream if we have it but have dribbled in milk if we don't.
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
I don't actually know if there's any science behind it -- my assumption has always been that the extra fat from the cream, creme fraiche, etc. just helps keep the eggs softer. But see janki's comment above -- sounds like it worth a shot with milk!
 
anniefeldman September 14, 2010
I've been eating eggs like this since I can remember...the best way to cook eggs ever!
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
Thanks!
 
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Made these this morning with creme fraiche for my husband and me and they were just great!! I love the texture and the creaminess. Thanks!
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
I'm so glad!
 
montatip September 14, 2010
This was what I had in Thailand since I was about 5 years old. When I came and live in the U.S. I never could find any place that serves the "soft" scrambled eggs--when I asked for it the servers looked at me "differently"--- <br />Now I just don't order scrambled at a restaurant but made my own at home --- <br />Thanks for sharing!
 
Merrill S. September 19, 2010
You're welcome! Sounds like we have the same MO.
 
liamoran September 14, 2010
I've adapted to this method after realizing that I really don't have 40 minutes in the morning to whisk eggs in a double boiler. This is my all-time favorite and I frequently make it for dinner with spinach on the side. I didn't have any mascarpone or creme fraiche, so I used whipped ricotta.
 
Merrill S. September 14, 2010
Great idea!