I’m sure some of you are saying “enough with the sweets!” Well today’s recipe is a sacrifice on my part since it is eggs . . . but it is not a dessert. . . and will please the vegetarians as well. I am making Baked Eggs using Mrs. H. C. Diebel’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
This is one of the few truly flexible recipes I’ve discovered in the cook book. This can be adapted for any number of people using any size of egg available. I cracked one medium egg into a small casserole dish. I did butter the bottom of the dish in case things went horribly wrong and the egg baked to a crisp. I sprinkled some salt and pepper on the egg both white and yolk. I liberally dotted it with butter in hopes of making it palatable for this confirmed egg hater. I popped it in a preheated 350 degree oven and started checking after 5 minutes. It is ready at that point for those who like runny yolks. Give it another minute or two for firmer yolk and white.
Lydia Caroline Moebus became Mrs. H. C. Diebel when she married Henry Conrad Diebel in 1894. Her husband was born in Germany but she was a local girl. The 1901 census shows that their religious views differed slightly as Henry was an Evangelical Assoc. and Lydia was Lutheran. At that time their son was 3 and daughter 2 years old. Mrs. Diebel around 40 years old when she contributed a number of recipes to the cook book. In 1911 the couple and their two children live at 47 Scott Street in Berlin Ontario. Henry works as a painter as he has most of his life. They are all of German heritage and now all of Lutheran faith.
Baked Eggs did not convert me into a lover of eggs but it is a perfectly good recipe. It is easy and quick and doesn’t require frying. It is in the oven for such a short time that the kitchen stayed cool. Try it if you already have the oven going for something else or if you just want a quick way to make eggs for a crowd. Think of it … no standing over the frying pan for ages. A modern cook might experiment with additional seasonings or a sauce for serving.
I am trying to imagine how Mrs. Diebel used this recipe. Why make baked eggs instead of fried eggs? Was it a fancier dish to serve a group of women or a quick supper or breakfast when she was busy? Did she use this for the family when the stove top was in use for laundry day?
Break the eggs into a buttered dish, taking care that each egg is whole, sprinkle with pepper and salt, and put a bit of butter on each. Put in oven and bake until the whites are set.