In How to Cook Like Heston ep.2, Heston Blumenthal challenges the way we cook eggs – the most versatile ingredient in the kitchen. He reveals the secret to a great boiled egg – don’t boil it. Bring it to the boil, then take it off the heat and let it stand for six minutes in hot water. After revealing his special techniques for poached eggs and confronting how his local Bray Women’s Institute scramble, Heston makes his signature scotch egg with a runny yolk.
Then he reveals how to achieve a perfect lemon custard tart every time using a thermometer. Finally, a bit of magic, as he invites the Women’s Institute over to sample his famous bacon and egg ice-cream, made with dry ice. Their verdict? The best thing ever to come out of a witch’s cauldron.
How to Cook Like Heston ep.2:
My method for cooking soft-boiled eggs is so simple but this recipe works perfectly every time. The trick is to use freshly laid eggs, then to let the residual heat do all the work.
There are many different approaches to poaching eggs – creating a whirlpool in the water, adding vinegar, etc. – but my approach in this recipe is very simple. It relies on using only the freshest egg –the white will be firmer and therefore the egg will hold together better in the water. And straining the eggs before cooking them to get rid of all the straggly bits is an important step.
To get the creamiest scrambled eggs, you need to cook them really gently. In this recipe I use a bain marie (a heatproof bowl resting on top of a saucepan of simmering water). This guarantees a gentle but consistent heat that is just right.
Bacon and egg ice-cream
This is one of my signature dishes at The Fat Duck. What makes this recipe so special is being able to make instant ice-cream at the table with the help of a little dry ice. Dry ice can also be used to turn bought smoothies and custard into ice-creams and sorbets. I serve this dish with marmalade because its bitterness and acidity cut through the richness of the ice-cream.
Heston Blumenthal shares a few simple tips to help replicate his lemon tart recipe. “For this tart to achieve greatness, the filling has to be exactly the right texture – not too soft but not too firm either. The most reliable way to get it right is to use a digital probe which takes out all the guesswork. When blind baking, the pastry should be treated like a biscuit; if you think it is done, cook it for a little bit longer. Also, use the best lemons you can so that they contribute great acidity.”
The challenge with a Scotch egg is making sure the sausage meat is cooked while the yolk is still runny in the centre. With this recipe, be warned, as the eggs are not fully cooked when you peel them, you have to be very careful. These are great snack or appetiser.