Coddled? Bet you didn’t think of that answer!
I first came across the idea of coddled eggs when I read about the little containers you cook them in when flicking through The Vintage Tea Party Book in a nearby tea rooms. The author of the book had bought them originally to use as jam pots, which I think is a lovely idea- the little ceramic cups would add a pretty touch to an afternoon tea table. But, onto their proper use- simply lightly grease the inside of the coddler- I give it a quick spritz with one of those cooking oil sprays- add the egg, put the lid on tightly and submerge in a pan of boiling water.
I’ve got two single egg poachers and one double one which you can see in the pan above. In terms of timings, 6 mins is perfect for a soft yolk using the single coddlers, but as for the double one, I’m yet to perfect the timing! Once the timing is up, remove carefully (I slide a knitting needle through the loops on the lids) as they will be very hot, and carefully wrap in a tea towel to remove the lids without burning yourself.
I then like to season the eggs, and enjoy. Perfect with some fresh asparagus spears for dipping. The effect is basically similar to a boiled egg, but the little containers keep the eggs perfectly warmed on the plate, and I think the white has a more even texture- less overdone on the outside, if that makes sense?
Where to find these little gems? I picked up my two little ones in a charity shop and I’ve seen them many times in lots of different ones- just have a rummage through the home ware shelves in your local charity shops. The large one was inherited from my Grannie and I’ve not really seen them on sale so far. Vintage fairs or Ebay would be another good place to try and pick them up, but much more expensive- I think mine were a couple of pounds.
I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere you can also use them in the oven, so that idea is next on my hit list…