Crispy Baked Eggs

Crispy Baked Eggs on TheHistoryKitchen.com #history #vintage #recipe

I have recently gathered a talented team of contributors for The History Kitchen. I look forward to sharing their writing with you. Chef Louise Mellor joins the team to discuss vintage recipes and share her food photography. Read more here. ~ Tori

The year is 1959. The average price for a loaf of bread is around 20 cents and gas is as little as 25 cents a gallon. Doris Day and Frank Sinatra fill the airways, Dion & the Belmonts ask “Why must I be a teenager in love?” and Marilyn Monroe is steaming up the screen in Some Like it Hot. Dwight D. Eisenhower is president of the United States and Hawaii is about to become the 50th state. Some are saying that 1959 is the “year music died,” after a tragic airplane crash kills famous rock-and-roll legends, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

1959 marked the end of a decade that would forever leave its imprint on American pop culture with its cars, music, milkshakes, and poodle skirts. It is noted in history as a prosperous period of American economic growth. Much of this prosperity can be traced to the end of World War II in 1945. Men were home from war, families grew and the economy flourished.  Many women happily returned to their previous duties of housekeeping and raising children during the 1950’s. At the same time, a positive shift took place in the cultural attitude towards women working outside the home. This trend, which began during the war, continued to grow and gain momentum at the turn of the decade. As Americans slowly changed their views on traditional roles, women were granted the freedom to explore careers previously frowned upon.

In joining the workforce, women were faced with the role of being a mother and caretaker to their families, along with the additional stresses of full time employment. Working mothers of this new age could have their cake and eat it too, but they had to bake it before they left for work! Breakfast needed to be made, lunches had to be packed, and the art of hospitality was still alive and well. Even with shiny new appliances at their fingertips and the emerging convenience of packaged foods on the rise, the 1959 woman needed some help to keep her “hurried” life running smoothly.

The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook, published in 1959, is a culinary reflection of this cultural shift. The book was written by the “Women of General Foods Kitchens” – working women who needed a plan.

The times we live in are hurrying times, and we are a hurrying people.  But it is still possible to provide the necessary islands of peaceful, enjoyable family living that are traditionally associated with the table. In place of household servants and unlimited time for preparing meals, we have time-and-labor-savings appliances, prepared or partially prepared foods, and more delightful ways of serving them, than anybody’s ever had before.  We can still make the most important meals, the family meals, memorable – not just once in a while, but most of the while.

- The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook

The pages of the cookbook are filled with detailed “how-to’s,” “what if’s,” and numerous tips for “just in case.” Even better, the contents page is organized by situation. Brilliant!  Under the chapter entitled The Good Neighbor Policy, you will find suggested menus for when neighbors move in or out. Chapter 5, How to Rise to the Occasion, tells you want to make when your husband unexpectedly brings a hungry coworker home for dinner. The book overflows with lighthearted encouragement and kitchen camaraderie; it reads like a well thought out letter from your closest girlfriend, aunt, or grandmother. As I read through it, I got the distinct feeling that the women of the General Foods Kitchens had been there and done that. It led me to believe their advice can be trusted.

I chose to make a recipe that appears on page 78, nestled between Butterscotch Pecan Rolls and Tips for Special Occasions. Under a header that said, “When one of the children is sick,” I found this simple 3-ingredient recipe for Crispy Baked Eggs. I mixed the cornflakes with a bit of melted butter, then spooned them into a muffin tin to create a small nest. Then I cracked an egg in the middle of each nest and sprinkled the eggs with salt and pepper. Into a low warm oven they went and 20 minutes later, voila – breakfast! You won’t believe me when I tell you how delicious these little eggs are… and they only require 3 ingredients!

Crispy Baked Eggs on TheHistoryKitchen.com #history #vintage #recipe

Crispy Baked Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp melted butter or bacon fat (dietary modifications below)
  • 1 1/4 cups corn flakes
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 4
  • Pour butter over corn flakes and toss lightly to mix.
  • Arrange in 4 greased custard cups to form nests, or in 4 greased sections of a muffin pan or make 4 nests in a greased shallow pan.
  • Break eggs carefully, slipping one into each nest. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a slow oven (325 degrees) for 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are firm. To serve, loosen with a knife or spatula; lift gently.
  • Dietary Adaptations: To make the recipe kosher or vegetarian use butter, not bacon fat.

About Louise Mellor

Chef Louise Mellor shares vintage recipes and food photography on The History Kitchen. She has worked for over 15 years as a private chef, caterer, culinary instructor, recipe developer, food stylist and media spokesperson. Louise has a degree in culinary arts and was formally trained in classical French cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu. Read more...

Comments (64)Post a Comment

    1. Thank you, it’s one of my favorites. Who am I kidding? I have 100 favorites. I might have a problem when it comes to collecting vintage dishes.

  1. I have a sizable collection of cookbooks from this period, and some of the recipes I´ve found make me weep for the poor husbands who came home to find them on the table…

  2. Oh, absolutely. My recipes for Quiche Alsacienne and Meatloaf came from late ´50´s cookbooks. I was thinking more of the recipes for things like new and exciting ways to serve Franks & Beans, or the assorted savory Jell-o recipes…

  3. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    These look so delicious and they are so super simple. I would never have thought of using cornflakes to form a next. When I start eating carbs again I’m definitely making these.

    1. I was on a low carb diet and you can make this lined with any off your veggies that are dried first 0-)
      They have that zero carb noodle (I think miracle noodles) make and place around the dish and add the egg
      you could probably scoop all of the flesh from a zucchini and place it into the muffin tin

  4. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Love the plate, the muffin tin and everything about this post! Beautiful prose and photography, Louise and what a wonderful idea, Tori. My husband came with a Fannie Farmer Cookbook – another go-to cookbook in the early 20th century, and we still use it.

    1. Mine never really made it to the pretty plates. The family ate them right out of the pan!

  5. Egg safety question: Do the yolks in these end up runny, or are they pretty much baked solid (so there’s no concern for people with wonky immune systems, etc., who really need to avoid runny eggs)? Thanks.

    1. Hi Jessica! Louise contributed this recipe but I’m happy to chime in, as it’s easily adaptable. If you’re concerned about egg safety, simply bake the eggs until they are fully cooked through. If they’re not quite fully cooked after the suggested cooking time, you can always let them bake a bit longer. Enjoy!

  6. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    These look wonderful, and so does the whole photo. I was definitely around at the time, but my mother didn’t make anything like this. Sick children got toast with butter and sugar, of course! The most thrilling egg dish was Popeyes, which I much later learned are also called “gashouse eggs,” from “Gasthaus” eggs, and, in Vermont, “one-eyes”). And the history overview was fun. I do have to point out, though, that there were THREE rock stars killed in that crash–the third was Richie Valens (of “La Bamba”). The song “Three New Stars” commemorated them (“Gee, we’re gonna miss you; Everybody sends their love”).

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I am so MAD since last week I was at Trader Joes and I did not want the organic corn flakes because I would eat it
    TJs is a good 30 min drive, might run to the local store, that is a great fun recipe. I am drooling 0-)
    Tori……..I would love to have muffin tins like that……could you probably sell it at your site!
    thanks

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