The Arpège egg is a personal favorite dish of mine that was made famous by the incredible Alain Passard of L’Arpège in Paris. It’s an incredibly luxurious Chaud-Froid (literally hot-cold) that consists of an egg yolk, gently coddled in it’s own shell, topped with chives, seasoned crème fraîche and maple syrup.
The textures and the temperatures of this dish are what make it a complete joy to eat, while the salty, tangy, sweet, and earthy flavours play off one another to keep you going back for more. If you have everything prepaired ahead of time it only takes about 5 minutes to put together too, so bonus points for easy entertaining.
*Note: In the restaurant, I use an egg topper to get a perfect, clean cut on my shells. I found a few different types on amazon and if this dish or any soft boiled egg is a regular on your menu at home, I would suggest picking one up. You can try and saw with a serrated knife, but it’s going to take time and not be as clean a finished product.
Yield: Serves as many as you make
6 eggs, the best quality you can afford
Maldon sea salt
1 cup crème fraîche
1/4 tsp quatre épices (ginger, nutmeg, white pepper, and cloves)
1 tsp aged sherry vinegar
6 tsp chives, finely chopped
Maple syrup, to garnish
To start, I like to have my egg shells cleaned and ready to go, so the night before, top your eggs, tip the yolks and whites into a container and refrigerate them until ready to use. Next, clean out the inside of shells by gently removing the membranes and rinsing in clean water. Let them dry out overnight.
Mix together the crème fraîche, quatre épices, salt, and sherry vinegar and give it a taste. It should be bright and lightly seasoned so you can taste all three elements. Pour into a piping bag (or a ziplock bag, works just fine too) and refrigerate overnight.
The day of your event, bring a pot of water to just below a simmer. The idea is to gently coddle the egg yolks, not cook them, and collect all your ingredients. Separate your egg yolks and gently tip each one into your cleaned shells, being careful not to break them. Sprinkle a pinch of maldon salt on each yolk and gently place them in the hot water so they are floating, cut side up.
After about 2 to 3 minutes, pull out the eggs and place on your serving dishes to finish plating. Spoon your chives over the yolks, and cut the tip off your ziplock bag or piping bag, whichever you are using. Taking care not to pop the yolk as you pipe, top your yolk and chives with the creme fraiche mixture until it is filled to just below the cut edge. Top with a few drops of maple syrup and enjoy!