Creating the Perfect Egg

Savor a rich treat with a Gruyère puff.

I love eggs for their endless versatility: over-easy, sunny-side up, or caramelized in cream; scrambled, deviled, or — for the ambitious and brave — a soufflé. My daughter Grace Adee makes shakshuka — eggs baked in spicy tomato sauce with sausage or chickpeas, topped with feta.

Photo of Gruyère puff in the oven.
Photo provided by Joycelyn Winnecke

My #PerfectEgg posts on Facebook have become a fun way to stay in touch with friends and to keep a hand in the food world. I learned to cook growing up on Manor Court, near Central High School. My dad’s specialties included over-easy eggs (we just called them fried eggs) and fried bologna sandwiches. I frequently cooked dinner for the family, specializing in casseroles with canned cream of mushroom soup — to the constant lament of much-older brother Lloyd and my sister Lisa.

I happened onto the Gruyère Puff quite by accident. Assessing the contents of my refrigerator one Saturday morning, I found Gruyère cheese and, of course, eggs. In my try-this-someday stack was the Gruyère Puff recipe by Melissa Clark of The New York Times. I’d chosen it because it seemed similar to Yorkshire pudding and popovers. (One Facebook commenter said it reminded him of an eggy German pancake.)

Photo provided by Joycelyn Winnecke

Delicious and impressive, it is shockingly easy to make: Whisk together 3 eggs, ½ cup milk, ½ cup flour, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and ¾ cup grated cheese. Pour mixture into a 9-inch skillet swirled with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees until it’s puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

Like any #PerfectEgg, it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You could substitute Emmental or any grocery store Swiss for the Gruyère. Be aware that cheddar won’t melt quite right, and mozzarella doesn’t have Gruyère’s rich, nutty flavor.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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