Custardy French-Style Soft Scrambled Eggs Recipe

Not your average breakfast, these pourable eggs are meant for a luxurious brunch.

Soft scrambled eggs on 6 pieces of bit sized toast

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Why It Works

  • Pre-salting helps eggs retain moisture and tenderness.
  • A small proportion of milk provides a sense of creamy richness, without going overboard.
  • Adding eggs to a cold plan, cooking over low heat, and whisking constantly prevents curd formation and keeps the eggs thick and custardy.

Making the perfect scrambled eggs is dependent on some key techniques (should you pre-salt your eggs?), and also the preference of the diner. There is American-diner style, with big, fluffy curds (this recipe includes lots of detailed information on cooking techniques, adding liquids, and more). I love soft-scrambled eggs with delicate, small curds. Then there are these French-style, almost pourable scrambled eggs. These are the scrambled eggs made famous by the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the trick to making them yourself is using incredibly low heat and a whisk.

Start by adding the beaten eggs and a pat of butter to a cold saucepan.

Starting eggs in a cold saucepan with a pat of butter.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Then set it over very low heat (you can also use a double boiler, but it's not required), and cook the eggs, whisking gently the entire time.

A whisk whisking constantly to keep fluffy curds from forming, leaving eggs silky smooth.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

The goal of the constant whisking is to break up the curds as soon as they form; the whisk's multiple wires help with this, slicing through the eggs over and over as they cook. If done properly, it's a slow, boring process, at times leaving you to wonder if the eggs are cooking at all.

The whisking has another effect: It makes the eggs less fluffy. The fluffiness in scrambled eggs (and also soufflés) comes from the expansion of heated gas and water vapor that's trapped in bubbles within the eggs. Through whisking, those bubbles are repeatedly broken and disturbed, allowing the gas and water vapor to escape. The low heat of this method also reduces fluffiness, since the eggs never get hot enough for the gas and water vapor to expand the way they would under high heat.

Author continues to whisk to keep the eggs smooth and custardy.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Eventually, the eggs thicken to a custardy texture with tiny curds. They're not just spoonable; they're actually still pourable—the overall effect is very luxurious, though, I have to admit, this isn't a style of scrambled eggs I'd want to eat in large doses, or on a plate, like in the photo below. This is the kind of scrambled egg that's better suited to being delicately spooned in small dollops onto toasts, then topped with things like caviar or lobster.

French-style eggs, custardy smooth, on a plate.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

1:00

How to Make French-Style Soft-Scrambled Eggs

May 2015

Recipe Facts

Cook: 10 mins
Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 serving

Rate & Comment

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) cream or milk (optional; see notes)

  • Freshly ground white or black pepper

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine eggs, salt, butter, and milk or cream, if using. Set over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until eggs thicken to a custardy consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with pepper, and serve right away.

    Four Image Collage. Clockwise from top left: Whisking eggs in a pan; butter added to eggs; whisking eggs and butter, showing a scrambled texture; spooning soft scrambled eggs onto toast

    Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Special Equipment

Small saucepan, whisk

Notes

Cream or milk will make slightly richer, moister eggs, but is not required.

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
215 Calories
18g Fat
1g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 215
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 394mg 131%
Sodium 248mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 59mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 143mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)