Creamy scrambled eggs

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During regular weekend visits to the countryside, my daughter discovered the pleasure of fresh, ‘homegrown’, organic, free-range, old-fashioned tasting eggs. She’d run out to the henhouse every morning, where half a dozen hens clucked around the highly protective cockerel, and see if there were any new eggs for breakfast. She loved feeding the chickens (organic mixed corn and millet); she loved the excitement of going to find the eggs; but most of all she absolutely adored the taste. They were nothing at all like supermarket eggs — not even the organic free-range ones that I have always bought. And to my tastebuds too, they were like eggs used to taste when I was a child.

My daughter became a bit of an egg snob after that. She just wouldn’t have an egg for breakfast if I’d bought it from a shop! Unfortunately during the winter months our trips to the countryside are less frequent, as well as the fact that the hens just aren’t laying so much during the cold weather. So, short of keeping hens in the back garden (along with the 5 guinea-pigs and the puppy — I don’t think so…), I have been looking for an acceptable alternative, and now I think I’ve found it: Clarence Court Free Range Eggs, from Old Cotswold Legborn hens. The eggs are very pretty indeed in their pale blue-green shells, and perhaps even prettier once broken when you see the rich orangey colour of their yolks. As used by Mark Hix’s restaurants apparently (of Le Caprice fame), so if they’re good enough for him…

She still won’t stretch to a poached or boiled egg yet — she doesn’t want to put the unadulterated yolk up to such close scrutiny for fear of disappointment — but she will deign to have these ones scrambled, and they’re very very good.

Oh, and you can have a look at the Old Cotswold Legborns roaming around on the “hencam” at www.clarencecourt.co.uk. Next best thing to keeping your own!


  • 2 large eggs per person — as fresh as you can find, from free-range vegetarian hens
  • a dash of full cream milk (not too much — about half an eggshell full)
  • a good knob of salted butter (1oz)
  • a good pinch of crushed Malden sea salt


  • Mixing bowl
  • Heavy bottomed pan
  • Wooden fork


  1. Melt the butter in a good heavy-bottomed pan. Let it just start to bubble but not burn.
  2. Meanwhile whisk the eggs together well, and just before you put them into the pan, add the salt. (Always leave the salt till the last minute — I can’t remember why!)
  3. Mix them all up with the melted butter as you put them in the pan.
  4. Use a wooden fork to keep stirring the eggs but cook them quite fast. The fork keeps the egg broken up so you don’t end up with omelette.
  5. Stop cooking the eggs well before you think you should. They will continue to set after you’ve taken them off the heat so you have to allow for that.
  6. Serve on toast with salted butter. Crack some black pepper over the top if you like.

What you should know

This is all about speed, rather than the traditional way of heating slowly and stirring endlessly.

Well, it’s all about the quality of the eggs really, so keep trying different ones till you find something full of flavour.

The creaminess is all about the consistency — don’t let them get too hard and set.