Croque Madame Muffins

To make these easy croque madame muffins from Rachel Khoo, sliced bread is buttered then pressed into muffin tins. Each bread cup is filled with ham, eggs, and Gruyère cheese then baked until golden.

Three croque madame muffins on a wire rack, set over parchment paper.

In the words of Rachel Khoo of the Little Paris Kitchen, a “croque monsieur is essentially a toasted cheese and ham sandwich. Put a fried egg on top and you’ve got a croque madame (the egg is supposed to resemble a lady’s hat). What makes the difference between a toasted cheese and ham sandwich and a croque of any sort is the cheese—in a croque, it comes in the form of a creamy cheese sauce.” And in her croque madame muffins recipe that follows, she melds all the components of the Paris classic in topsy-turvy fashion. And it works to brilliant effect—trust us, this is how you want to make eggs for a crowd. Originally published March 28, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Croque Madame Muffins

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes 6
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Special Equipment: Jumbo muffin tin or 6 ramekins

Ingredients

  • For the cheese sauce
  • For the muffins

Directions

Make the cheese sauce

Toss the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and wait for it to melt. Add the flour and stir vigorously until a smooth paste forms. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 2 minutes. Then slowly and gradually add the milk to the paste, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth. Place the pan back over medium heat, add the mustard and nutmeg, and simmer gently, whisking frequently to prevent the sauce from burning, until it thickens and has the consistency of a thick tomato sauce, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the cheese to the sauce and whisk until it melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk; if the sauce seems lumpy, strain it through a sieve. Let it rest at room temperature.

Assemble the croque madame muffins

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin or 6 ramekins.

Flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin and then brush each slice on both sides with the melted butter. Gently press a slice of bread in each cup of the muffin tin and tamp it down with the bottom of a narrow glass, a skinny jar, a vitamin bottle, or whatever you can find that fits.

Divide the ham among the muffin cups. Crack the eggs into a small dish, 1 at a time, allowing the white to go into the dish and cupping the yolk in the shell. Gently place a yolk in each bread-lined muffin cup. Gently whisk the egg whites and pour a little into each muffin cup, not quite filling them completely. (You may have some egg whites left over and that’s okay.) Spoon about 2 tablespoons cheese sauce on top of each egg, then sprinkle with the reserved grated cheese and pepper.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how runny you like your egg yolks. Serve immediately.

Print RecipeBuy the The Little Paris Kitchen cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

At first I was pretty skeptical of this recipe. I mean, rolling white bread to make the crust? Well, to my surprise, this was short, easy, and above all else, yummy. My only recommendation is to be sure to butter your muffin tin before pushing the rolled-out bread inside. Mine stuck pretty badly so a little extra butter would’ve gone a really long way.

The flavor of these breakfast cups is fabulous. The taste of the fresh nutmeg intermingled with the Gruyère cheese is very memorable. I also really love the idea of using grocery-store white bread as a pastry. Surprisingly, it works. This recipe should easily feed 5 or 6 average people, or 3 VERY hungry folks.

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Comments

    1. I wish I could say yes, Katrina, although I worry it will get soggy if you assemble and/or bake it in advance. However, these are exceptionally simple to assemble, so perhaps you could enlist help and delegate tasks on the assembly line at the last moment?

  1. I thought these were popovers at first. I’m sure the recipe is delicious as-is but I’m going to try a variation with poached eggs in popovers, which I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of. I’ve never thought of them as a breakfast possibility, but anything with an egg on top is breakfast, no?

  2. I’m sitting in bed reading this with a cup of tea and really getting quite hungry now. I wish I could coerce someone into making these for me! Nice, simple idea for a sophisticated breakfast treat.

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