Three “Eggciting” Christmas Brunch Egg Recipes

For me, no holiday season is complete without a traditional Christmas brunch. Here are three recipes for egg dishes my family requests every year.

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by Ana HotalingDecember 15, 2021
PHOTO: Sincerely Media/Unsplash

Our family has certain traditions we keep every Christmas. We gather at my in-laws’ home for Christmas Eve dinner and to pull the strings on the Christmas bell. On Christmas Day, after the kids open their presents and sort through their stockings, we settle down to enjoy the dozens of Christmas cookies I baked the week leading up to the holidays … plus our traditional Christmas brunch.

Understandably, eggs play a large part of this family meal. It’s our yearly opportunity to show off the bounty provided by our hens in a delicious, celebratory way. I vary the recipes I use each year, but here are three of the ones my family frequently requests.

Cheese Souffle

When I lived with my Aunt Judith in France, she prepared a cheese souffle every Christmas morning. I only spent two December 25ths with her, but these were enough for me to crave a cheese souffle brunch every Christmas.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk, heated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart baking or souffle dish with the softened butter.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded Swiss cheese into the souffle dish so that it sticks to the buttered bottom and sides, creating a layer of Swiss cheese. If necessary, use more butter and Swiss cheese.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Gently stir in the flour, stirring continuously for two minutes until the mixture resembles a paste. Reduce the flame to low, then whisk in the heated milk, creating a roux.

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Cook for one minute, whisking continuously. Remove from heat, then season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Separate the eggs into two bowls: the yolks into a small bowl and the whites into a large bowl. Add yolks to the roux, continually whisking until the yolks are fully incorporated. Set aside.

Add the three egg whites to the bowl with the separated egg whites. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft, foamy peaks. Add the salt and cream of tartar, then continue to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold one quarter of the egg whites into the roux. Next, fold the Swiss cheese into the egg white/roux mixture.

Finally, fold the rest of the egg whites into the mixture, turning the mixture until the cheese and the white/roux mixture have been gently incorporated. Do not beat, whisk or stir until blended. These actions will deflate the egg whites.

Scoop the mixture into your prepared souffle dish, making sure that the mixture does not fill more than two-thirds of the dish. Set the souffle dish into a shallow baking dish, then carefully pour hot water into this outer dish so that the water level reaches halfway up your souffle dish.

Make sure no water gets into the souffle dish.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the souffle has risen at least a half inch over the lip of the souffle dish and is golden brown on top. Serve immediately.

Baked Eggs

My mother only began learning how to cook after she married my father. Many of the women in my family sent her recipes and coached her over the phone, to varying degrees of success.

One dish—baked eggs in ramekins—was one of her most successful. She served it on special occasions. These days, I make it part of Christmas brunch whenever she visits for the holidays.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • fresh parsley, minced
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter six individual ramekins. Set the ramekins in a large baking dish, then add enough water to reach halfway up the ramekins.

Cut each tablespoon of chilled butter into quarters. Place four quarters of butter into each ramekin dish.

Top the butter with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, then break an egg into each of the ramekins. Bake on a low oven rack for approximately 10 minutes or until the egg white starts to thicken in the ramekins. Top each egg with four additional quarters of butter and one tablespoon of heavy cream.

Sprinkle each ramekin with minced parsley. Return to the oven and bake for an additional eight to 10 minutes or until the eggs are set but jiggle slightly when the ramekins are gently shaken.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with toast triangles.


Read more: Have an overabundance of eggs? Try this recipe for spiced egg yolk cookies!


Christmas Quiche

My kids absolutely love quiche. It’s something I make at least twice a month. A few years ago, my youngest son, Bryce, asked if we could please have quiche for Christmas brunch. I replied, “But we have quiche all the time!”

Bryce responded, “Then make us a Christmas quiche!” And so I did.

The difference? My Christmas quiche is crustless, because who has time to perfect pastry amongst the stress and hubbub of the holidays? Spinach and tomato add the colors of the season.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (my sons love gouda, cheddar, and havarti)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach, chiffonaded (sliced into thin strips)
Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter two 8-inch pie pans (use glass pie pans if possible). Sprinkle one-half cup of cheese into each pie pan to cover the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well blended. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach, blending well to thoroughly incorporate and distribute the vegetables.

Fill each pie pan with the egg mixture to within 1/4 inch of the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese onto each pie pan, then top with dots of butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and the top of the quiche springs back when touched.

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