Baked Eggs in a Polenta Crust

My Mother’s Day Brunch was smaller than usual, but was still filled with lots of yummy food.  I am going to be sharing a few of those recipes over the next few days.

One of our favorite brunch dishes are these little baked eggs in a polenta and bacon crust.  They are easy to make ahead of time and are a really pretty presentation on a buffet table.
Baked Eggs in a Bacon-Wrapped Polenta Crust
adapted from Brian Leatart, Bon Appetit via

4 Tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of chopped green onions
2 tsp salt
6 cups water
2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (not the grated kind in the canister)
1-2 Tbsp minced, fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme

Baked eggs:
about 20 slices of bacon
1/3 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grayed Gruyere cheese (if I can’t get for a good price, I double the cheddar instead.)
2 dozen small to medium eggs
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp minced, fresh thyme or a pinch of dried thyme
sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish

For Polenta:

Melt butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan or small stock pot. Add green onions and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Gradually add in polenta, whisking as you do so. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, stirring frequently.   Simmer until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool to lukewarm.***

For baked eggs:
Par-fry bacon until slightly browned, but still pliable. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Line the edges of each muffin tin with a piece of bacon, forming a little ring. Place a small piece of bacon in the bottom of each cup.  

Take about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cooled polenta and press into each muffin cup, up the sides and on the bottom of the cup, creating a little crust. The bacon should be in between the tin and the polenta. Sprinkle a bit of the cheeses on the bottom of each little crust of polenta. (This step can be done up to 2 hours ahead of time. Let stand at room temperature prior to baking.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Crack an egg into each cup. Top with more cheese, green onion, thyme and a bit of cracked pepper. Bake until egg whites are almost set… 16 to 20 minutes. Let eggs stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. They will continue to cook.

Run a small, sharp knife around the edges of the cups and slide the eggs onto a serving platter.   Garnish with the sprigs of fresh thyme.  Enjoy! 
Makes 2 dozen eggs.
*** The polenta can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate. The polenta will be very firm. I have found it is harder to shape into the cups when it is cold….)

This dish is always a hit.  Handsome Hubby forgot to spray the muffin tins this year so they were a bit difficult to remove.  Next year we are going to try using muffin liners and see what happens.


Click here to see what our brunch table centerpiece looked like…


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