Seasonal Flavors: Cloud Eggs

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Cloud Eggs. Photo: Denise Zito.

Went to far northeast Maine last month for cross country skiing. Got there just in time for the blizzard. Hadn’t seen snow like that since my childhood days in the western Pennsylvania mountains. It snowed sideways for twelve hours. On the way up the mountain our car slid off the road, and we landed in a snowdrift. Young guy named Maurice stopped with his pickup truck and pulled us out. Wouldn’t take any money.

Finally arrived at the Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Woods Initiative Area Hundred Mile Wilderness. Had to ride on the back of a snowmobile eight miles from the parking lot to get there. (Since we hadn’t been on skis in two years, we didn’t think it wise to try to ski in). Off the grid. Solar power. Remote. Gorgeous. Peaceful. Stars. COLD.

When you arrive, your little cabin already has a fire burning. Meals are provided in the lodge—usually family-style at a long table. However, during Covid, you come in masked and get your food in a compostable box and take it back to your cabin. But there are cloth napkins, real silverware and wine glasses. No complaints!

The food is excellent. Lots of vegetables, hearty soups, pretty desserts.

One day at breakfast, the chalkboard advertised: Cloud Eggs. 

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It was a delicious, custardy, egg dish mounded with browned egg whites. I interviewed Allison Lee Sikowitz, from New York City, who confessed to having been cooking “professionally” for only a month. Wow. She was feeding between twenty and forty people a day during the week we were there. It was simply flawless. Here’s the recipe she so generously shared, pared down to serve six.

Cloud Eggs

  • 12 eggs
  •  1 ½ cup milk
  • 3 T flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 T sugar
  • 6 T butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Separate the eggs.

Whisk the yolks, milk, flour, salt and sugar.

Beat the egg whites till stiff and fold them into the yolk mix.

Melt the butter into a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet.

Add the egg mixture to the skillet and cook on the stove top, medium heat for two minutes. 

Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the top is brown. The mixture will magically separate so that you have this delightful custard on the bottom and the fluffy clouds of egg whites atop.

Note: the first time I tried this recipe, I believe I took it out too soon and the layers hadn’t separated. I returned the pan to the oven for another five minutes, but the whites never did separate from the yolk custard. Still, it was a delicious dish with a slightly sweet, crusty bottom and light fluffy top. My family loved it. The message is: be patient and try not to remove it from the oven too soon.  

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