This simple but elegant appetizer is perfect for last-minute entertaining or quick dining. Carnish the baked eggs with crisp, fried fresh sage leaves and serve with warm, fresh crusty bread for a special meal. Small to medium-sized leeks (less than 2.5cm/1in in diameter) are best for this dish as they have the most tender flavour and only require a short cooking time.
15g / 1/2oz / 1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for greasing
200g / 8oz small leeks, thinly sliced
75-90ml / 5-6 tablespoons whipping cream
4 medium eggs
1.Preheat the oven to 190℃ / 375℉. Generously butter the base and sides of four ramekins.
2.Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the leeks over a medium heat, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes, until softened and translucent, but not browned.
3.Add 45ml / 3 tablespoons of the cream and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the leeks are very soft and the cream has thickened a little. Season to taste.
4.Place the ramekins in a small roasting pan and divide the leeks among them. Break an egg into each, Spoon over the remaining cream and season.
5.Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until just set. Serve piping hot.