Egg by Michael Ruhlman(Jacqui Small) Ruhlman is a feted US author with a quasi-scientific approach to the art of cooking. And, to his mind, no single ingredient can teach you more about said art than an egg can. He charts out – there’s an actual flowchart tucked in the back cover – every possible egg-related technique, method and recipe. A definitive work of reference.
How to Boil an Egg by Rose Carrarini(Phaidon) Cook’s favourite by virtue of its sheer beauty. An egg will always do you proud, Carrarini suggests with each successive recipe, no matter the time of day. Her fare is as simple and elegant as the illustrations it comes with: eggs baked in dashi, tarts of chives and spinach, îles flottantes, and a host of the toothsome bakes, sweet and savoury, that make her Parisian Rose Bakery such a cult destination.
Five Fat Hens by Tim Halket(Grub Street) A year-long diary in recipes and anecdotes from a Suffolk country kitchen. Halket is a home cookand engaging storyteller who keeps his own hens and feeds his family from them daily. Look to him for suitably comforting platefuls – boozy prunes and custard, French toast, boiled egg and soldiers …
The Breakfast Bible by Seb Emina and Malcolm Eggs (Bloomsbury) Not strictly an egg book, but this has to get a nod, because as Emina puts it, where there is a breakfast menu, it must include eggs: “Breakfast is their homeland, the meal that really gets them.” Recipes include a wonderfully detailed list of all the variations on eggs benedict. Special mention for the “Songs to boil an egg to” table on page 26 – best timer out there.
Eggs by Michel Roux (W&N) Reviewing this in the Guardian, Catherine Phillips wrote: “The French take their eggs very seriously, as allegedly demonstrated by the 100 pleats in a chef’s toque representing the number of egg dishes they need to master. Roux’s book is a masterclass on all the classic French ways of serving eggs (I love the section on baked eggs) as well as doing a good job of demystifying soufflés, crepes and anything made with custard.”
Further reading Egg by Blanche Vaughan; A Good Egg by Genevieve Taylor; Put an Egg on It by Lara Ferroni; Chicken and Eggs by Mark Diacono; The Fresh Egg Cookbook by Jennifer Thompson Trainer; and The Omelette Book by Narcissa Chamberlain.