Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home
Eggs weren’t just for breakfast in the 18th century. In fact, they were often a side dish to a meal, and not just relegated to the morning as in today’s modern world. More than 20 egg dishes can be found in the French Family Cook alone! Our Rare Breeds chickens here in the Historic Area love to give us plenty to work with during the spring and fall months. While they still produce eggs in the summer, it’s at a much lower rate. The dish of Puffed Eggs is easy and fun to do. Try this fancy version of a fried egg for a light supper, along with a salad!
Separate the yolks and whites of eight or ten eggs without breaking the yolks, beat the whites to a snow, wrap each yolk in a spoonful of the snow, and so on as you please; slide them gently off in hot hog’s-lard, one after another; fry of a fine gold colour, and serve with a little cullis made pretty sharp, with the juice of a lemon.
— George Dalrymple, The Practice of Modern Cookery (p. 418)
- Take as many egg as you like and separate the egg whites from the yolks. Leave the egg yolks in the half-shell.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Heat the frying pan with the fat of your choice—yes, we prefer lard for this recipe.
- Place a mound of egg whites in the pan and use your finger to make it circular if you wish. With your finger, then make a small indentation in the middle of the whites.
- Slip the yolk in the middle and turn it. Cook for the level of doneness you prefer.