I’ve long been a fan of the idea of using eggshells as serving pieces, especially since I saw Michael Laiskonis’ recipe for The Egg at Le Bernardin. The challenge, of course, is to remove the top of the shell cleanly. Apparently, it can be done simply with a serrated knife and a lot of practice, but I don’t have the benefit of a restaurant’s turnover to get that kind of practice. Then there are specialty tools available, but realistically, am I going to use these often enough to justify the expense?
The solution came, as it so often does these days, from Modernist Cuisine. They recommend using a rotary tool on the shell, then a sharp blade to cut through the membrane. A friend already had the tool, so I just borrowed it. I cut a circle out of a piece of cardboard as a template, drawing it on the egg in pencil. I quickly learned why you don’t just use it to cut through the membrane: when you do, it has a tendency to splatter. All it took was a little practice to get results that were good enough to serve to friends. After topping them (and using the egg yolks to make ice cream), I rinsed the shells and cooked them in boiling water for 10 minutes to sterilize.
Now I just have to decide what to fill them with. Custard seems like an obvious place to start!