For such a simple dish, there's a dizzying lack of agreement about how to make scrambled eggs properly. But after an extensive test, the best way of making them has now been revealed – and thankfully, it's refreshingly simple.
Making scrambled eggs is ludicrously easy. Crack them in a pan, bash them around a bit, perhaps with a bit of butter and maybe a splash of milk, then slop them out on a plate. If even that seems too much like hard work, you can do them in a microwave oven.
The only problem? Making scrambled eggs in either of these slipshod manners will most likely result in something thin, tasteless and disappointing. And it was after one disappointing dish too many that food critic William Sitwell decided to do something about it: he decided to hold a competition, inviting chefs and food writers – among them Aldo Zilli, Henry Harris and Valentine Warner – to make scrambled eggs in order to find a supreme champion.
‘Cooking scrambled eggs is one of Britain’s biggest culinary conundrums,’ says Mr Sitwell. ‘Countless restaurants fail to hit the mark.’
The eggs – all free range and supplied by Clarence Court – were prepared using eight different methods, blind taste tested on appearance, flavour and texture. The number if different ways of creating this seemingly simple dish was baffling. Some added milk, while others were refused to countenance such a thing; others added dollops of crème fraiche or double cream; several chefs committed what to others is the cardinal sin of breaking eggs straight into the pan; and one method even – shudder! – used a microwave.
We’re relieved to report that the winning method, as espoused by Rose Prince, was refreshingly simple: no fuss, no crazy ingredients, just fresh eggs, proper butter and a good dollop of TLC. Here’s how she did it:
(serves 2 with generous portions)
- 5 medium sized free range or organic eggs
- 80g good quality salted butter, cut into cubes
- Maldon sea salt
Have a warmed dish ready. Crack the eggs directly into the pan and add the butter. Place the pan over a low heat and beat with the fork or a whisk until the butter melts. Do NOT add any salt at this stage because it will flatten and take the lightness out of the eggs.
Turn the heat up to medium and continue to stir – not too fast. As the eggs ‘catch’ on the base of the pan, scrape and stir until you have a partially runny mix, then remove the pan from the heat. Continue to stir and scrape slowly. The result needs to be wet, but stand by itself – if the eggs are still too runny, briefly return the pan to the heat.
If you cook them this way there is no need to add cream to prevent over-cooking.
Once the eggs are scrambled to perfection, you can add a pinch of salt, stir once then transfer the eggs to the warmed dish, ready to serve.