AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Say Oui To The Perfect Decadent Custardy French Omelet Or Scrambled Eggs

An omelet with fresh herbs plated with a buttered English muffin

Better eggs through chemistry

On many Sundays, my wife and I luxuriate over a three-egg omelet with grilled Texas Toast or English muffins and her homemade marmalade for breakfast. I have done a lot of experimenting over the years and at last I have made a breakthrough. This method makes absolutely the most wonderful creamy custardy decadent omelet (or scrambled eggs, if you prefer). Absolutely the effen best ever. And it is fast and easy.

This recipe is for a simple, pure, French omelet. No cheese, no peppers, no ham. The beauty of this is its sumptuous egginess unadorned, although I must confess I like adding a small shallot to the melting fat. There are several tricks that are vital, so please try this my way the first time with the ratios exactly as below to set your mental and taste standards. Then if you want to riff on it, go ahead. It calls for whole cream. I have tried it with half-and-half and milk, and they are very good, but you can tell the diff. It calls for butter. It is also good with bacon fat and duck fat.

  • Eggs are about 75% water, 12% fat (mostly in the yolks), and 12% protein
  • Cream is about 73% water, 20% fat, 4% carbs, and 3% protein
  • Butter is about 17% water, 80% fat, and a small amount of protein
  • Cornstarch is an emulsifier, almost all carbohydrates, it binds things together

Why the cornstarch? I got the idea from the blogger Mandy Lee via Food52 in her recipe for scrambled eggs. What is happening? Chemistry!

Protein molecules in egg whites float among each other unlinked, which is why the albumen is clear. As they are heated they change their shape and even link up, a process called denaturing, and form a coagulated matrix that traps moisture. The linked proteins block light and turn opaque white. As with other proteins, the longer or hotter you cook them, the proteins shrink and squeeze out moisture. So it is crucial to keep the heat down and take the eggs off when slightly runny. They will finish cooking by carryover

Some chefs perpetuate a myth that salting the raw eggs causes them to get tough. It doesn’t. Salt also promotes denaturing but oddly, prevents them from bunching up too much and squeezing out water. 

Why do I add cornstarch? As it is heated, the molecular chains in cornstarch unravel and form a mesh with other starch chains, a process called starch gelatinization. It forms a custard-like gel trapping the water, fat, and protein in the eggs, cream, and butter. My friend Grant Crilly at ChefSteps, a far more accomplished baker than I, added that “as the cornstarch gels, it binds the water that is squeezed out of the cooking egg protein, really capturing moisture and adding some elasticity.” Lots of recipes take advantage of this by mixing egg and corn starch: cookies, lemon bars, brownies, pudding, and crepes. The AmazingRibs.com science advisor, Prof. Greg Blonder, said “Essentially it forms an internal sauce.”

Here’s a short video of the process with special thanks to the late great pianist Don Shirley for his 1950s version of “At Last” written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren in 1941. If you saw the movie Green Book, that was Shirley in the back seat.

The Perfect Decadent Custardy French Omelet Recipe


An omelet with fresh herbs plated with a buttered English muffin
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
2.78 from 9 votes
Want to create the most wonderful creamy custardy decadent omelet? It doesn't get any better than this recipe! It even works well for scrambled eggs.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: French, Modernist
Difficulty: Easy

Makes:

Servings: 1 serving

Takes:

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Equipment

  • I make this in a non-stick 8 inch/203.2 mm ceramic coated pan. This is the exact model I bought: 8 inch GreenPan Valencia Pro. I also bought their 12 inch/304.8 mm. It is totally awesome. This new breed of coating is very different from the set of enameled and non-stick pans we got when we were married years ago. They don't scorch and they have none of the drawbacks of Teflon which can produce hazardous compounds if it gets too hot. The eggs are easy to flip and they slide out like an Olympic skier. I strongly recommend you get one if you make a lot of omelets.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • teaspoon Morton coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Notes:
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
Optional. You can use bacon fat or duck fat if you wish. I love to add a teaspoon of thyme, tarragon, or chives (fresh or dried) before cooking, a minced shallot to the melted fat, and after, several grinds of coarse black pepper.
 
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Whisk #1. Have all of the ingredients out and at the ready. Whisk together the cornstarch and cream in a medium sized bowl until there are no lumps.
  • Whisk #2. Crack and add the eggs to the cornstarch mix, sprinkle in the salt, and whisk vigorously until it is foamy. You want some bubbles in there. Add the herbs now.
  • Butter up. Melt the butter over medium heat in an 8 inch/203.2 mm nonstick pan. I am extremely fond of my ceramic coated pan which is a s slick as a hockey rink. Resist the temptation to go hot unless you like rubbery eggs. Do not brown the butter.
  • Cook side one. As soon as the butter is melted, give the eggs a final whisk and pour them into the pan. With the whisk, move the liquid around. The eggs will start solidifying on the bottom and sides. Push the lumps around and tilt the pan so liquid can flow onto the bare surface. You will think that you are making scrambled eggs. Don’t worry, you are making an omelet. Keep this up until there is very little runny liquid on top but don’t let the bottom brown.
  • Flip out. If you like runny eggs, proceed to the next step. For a little firmer omelet, now it is time to flip it over and cook the runny egg remaining on the top. There are two methods. The pro technique is to make sure the eggs are sliding around in the pan and then, with a flick of the wrist, send it up the sloped side of the pan, into the air where it will do a half gainer. Watch out for any low hanging cabinets. If you lack the confidence to do the flick, there is an easier way: Slide the eggs out of the pan onto a plate, and then slide them back into the pan tilting the plate so the wet side lands facing the warm metal.
  • Fold and serve. Let the wet side set for about 20 seconds and then slide it out onto a plate, folding it in half as it slides out. I like a few grinds of fresh black pepper, grilled Texas Toast or English muffins, and of course, coffee. My wife puts homemade marmalade on her toast.

Related articles

Published On: 10/12/2020 Last Modified: 9/10/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review


Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special