Rumour has it that these were invented by Fortnum & Mason in 1738. They're traditionally served cold and are having something of a revival.
Preparation: 4-45 minutes
- 6 eggs
- 400 g (14 oz) pork sausage meat
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 8 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil, for deep frying
- watercress or parsley, to garnish
- Add the eggs to a small pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes. Rinse with cold water and peel while still hot.
- Cool in cold water.
- Divide the sausage meat into six equal pieces and pat out into rounds.
- Put some flour on a plate, season, dip each egg in the flour and cover with the sausage meat.
- Flour again, dip in the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan until it reaches 180°C/350°F on a sugar thermometer or until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into the oil.
- Cook two eggs at a time for 6–8 minutes until golden brown.
- Wait for the oil to heat up again before cooking the next batch.
- Carefully drain with a slotted spoon on to kitchen towel.
- Cut into halves and serve garnished with watercress or parsley.
To cook in the oven, place on a baking tray and bake at 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 for 25 minutes until golden brown.
To make these even tastier, use skinned gourmet sausages instead of the sausage meat.
Try garlicky Toulouse sausages, pork and apple, or pork, pancetta and Parmesan.
Find more classic recipes in The WI book Vintage Teatime compiled by Jessica Simmons and published by Simon and Schuster in 2012.