Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Baked Eggs in Ham Baskets: Perfect for Holiday Entertaining

[donotprint]I am often asked “How do you come up with your recipes?” Well, in the case of this beautiful brunch dish of Baked Eggs in Ham Baskets, my inspiration came from a bed-and-breakfast in Utah.

Baked Eggs in Ham Baskets. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld.

Baked Eggs in Ham Baskets. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld.


My husband and I were staying at a lovely inn near Zion National Park, one of many stunningly beautiful parks in Utah that feature “out-of-this-world” red sandstone formations. It’s hard to believe that Mother Nature carved these sometimes weird shapes, but that’s exactly what happened over millions of years. If you have never traveled there, it is worth a visit.

Breakfast featured the inn’s version of eggs baked in Black Forest ham baskets. The baskets were baked in a muffin pan, so they were perfectly round and gorgeous. I was smitten! I didn’t ask for the recipe (I never do) but I went home and created my own version, which I serve often.

During this holiday season when we’re likely to have houseguests, it’s the perfect breakfast or brunch dish. The following recipe is from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two which features two-serving recipes. But the beauty of this dish is that you can make as many baskets as you like. [/donotprint]


Text and image from GLUTEN-FREE COOKING FOR TWO by Carol Fenster and Tom Hirschfeld. Copyright © 2017 by Carol Fenster and Tom Hirschfeld. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


Years ago, I ate this dish at a bed-and-breakfast near Zion National Park in Utah and I was smitten with how pretty these baskets were, yet so easy. I went home and immediately crafted my own version. Depending on the size and shape of your Black Forest ham slices, you may need to cut or tear them so they form a ruffled border around the egg. If you’re feeling especially hungry, simply double the ingredients to make four baskets. For a Southwest touch, skip the pesto and serve with a tablespoon of Mexican salsa on top.

4              very thin slices Black Forest ham (or two large slices)

1              small plum tomato or 4 cherry or grape tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

2              teaspoons store-bought pesto (optional – but adds wonderful flavor)

2              tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried), plus extra for garnish

2              large eggs, at room temperature

1/16       teaspoon (pinch) salt 

1/16       teaspoon (pinch) freshly ground black pepper

[1] Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously grease two of the cups in a standard 6-muffin pan.  

[2] Gently press 2 slices of ham into each greased cup, positioning the ham so it creates a border around the edge of each cup. Divide the diced tomatoes, pesto (if using), and 1 tablespoon of the parsley in each cup. Break an egg into each cup and poke the yoke with a fork. Sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper.

[3] Bake 12 to 15 minutes for soft eggs, 15 to 25 minutes for hard-cooked eggs, or until eggs reached desired doneness.  The eggs continue to cook after you remove them from the oven, so don’t overcook. Remove the baskets from the muffin ups and serve immediately, garnished with the chives. 

Makes 2 servings

Per serving:  158calories; 17g protein; 9g total fat; 1g fiber; 3g carbohydrates; 218mgs cholesterol;  569mgs sodium