I used Jambon de Bayonne or Bayonne Ham, France’s most popular dry-cured ham. Bayonne ham comes from pigs exclusively born and bred in a particular area of South-West France, and the ham is dry-cured with the spring salt of Salies-de-Béarn, produced between the Pyrenees mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. This fairly dry ham has a distinctive melting texture, and a delicate taste rich with just a hint of hazelnut.
These egg nests are just that bit of springtime sunshine you need to get going this morning! They reheat beautifully in the oven for brunch or make a lovely snack right out of the fridge the following day too, and I promise you, you can make them happen in no time.
I think the thyme adds a bit of freshness and the spice of the harissa balances out the slight saltiness of the ham (it gets a bit more concentrated with baking!).
- ½ pack frozen filo pastry
- 6 eggs
- 6 slices Bayonne Ham
- 4 oz Comte cheese, cubed
- 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons harissa paste
- olive oil (or other oil) spray
- salt (to taste)
- Spray a muffin or mini bundt cake pan with olive oil (or another oil - avocado works great here). Preheat oven to 375F.
- Unroll the filo dough and cut out 6 squares, approximately 4 by 4 inches. This does not need to be super precise, but I like to separate each square of filo layers in half and then layer them into the pan(s) on top of each other, at an angle, in order to form a fuller, "rounder" nest to contain all the delicious filling inside! Once in the pan, spray the filo dough with oil spray.
- Layer a piece of ham into each filo nest, then add an egg and 3-4 cubes of cheese. Top with fresh thyme, a little bit of harissa and a salt, to taste.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the egg is done and set, cheese is melted, and pastry and ham are crisp. The yolk, once you cut into it, will be like a soft boiled egg!
They come out of the pan easily and are just the most darling little things, are they not? So full of flavor.
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