These egg and goat’s cheese puff pastry galettes are a versatile breakfast, starter or light lunch that you can whip up in under 30 minutes.
Post sponsored by the happy egg co.
If you told me a few years ago that I would be spending my birthday at a hen farm, I would have thought you were a bit bananas. But that’s exactly what I did a few days ago on the invitation of the happy egg co. folk. And you know what? It turned out to be a far more pleasant experience than I would have ever imagined!
My day started with an insanely early (for me) alarm rousing me to get ready to travel to the happy egg farm near Peterborough. Happily for me, my BFF blogging buddy Julia of Vikalinka is also joining me and as the trains pulls out from Kings Cross station the ominous black clouds slowly disperse to reveal blue skies.
We arrive at the farm slightly late to discover more blogging buddies there and pretty soon we have to change into very fetching (I included a photo above so you can see just how fetching) blue overalls and wellies – we are about to enter the hen house!
The hen house is actually pretty massive and so it should be as it is home to 14,000 happy egg hens. I was actually warned that a hen house would be pretty smelly by well-meaning friends, but it turns out to be nothing of the sort. The space is well ventilated and the hens have a sort of tiered living arrangement with spaces to climb, roost and lay their eggs.
You see the happy egg co. have put a lot of research into what keeps their hens happy and it sounds like hen psychology (no, really) is used to ensure that they are kept well fed, watered and even entertained with stimulating toys. As we walk through the long, partitioned, hen house you can hear the sound of, well, happy hens.
The hens are all well feathered, very vocal, unafraid and pretty happy to see us hoomans. In fact they follow us, slowly, as we go outside. There’s plenty of space for them to run and forage outside and trees are being planted to offer the birds shade – they are not big sun lovers apparently! The hens even have ‘companion animals’ in some cows who graze in the same bit of land, offering them a bit of a security blanket against predators.
After our visit around the hen house and surrounding land it is time for spot of lunch which features, naturally, a lot of eggs. There’s chorizo and feta frittata with red pepper dressing and a glorious Scotch egg to start, shakshuka for main and a lemon tart for dessert. It all tastes delicious and I am very, very full by the time the happy egg co. team present me with a little surprise – a birthday cake! I think I turned bright red, but I was genuinely so touched by this thoughtful gesture.
So should you pay a little more to buy happy eggs? After my visit I am inclined to say yes. Happier hens produce eggs which are markedly higher quality than those of birds living under stressful conditions. I use a lot of eggs in my recipes so it makes sense to use the best. I always have at least a dozen available at all times just in case I need to suddenly bake a four-layer cake in a hurry (more often than you might think).
These egg and goat’s cheese puff pastry galettes are a versatile breakfast, starter or light lunch that you can whip up in under 30 minutes. You can also change it up and use ham and cheddar to create a sort of Croque Madame – see notes for that variation. Make sure to check out my other puff pastry recipes too!
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- 8 small stalks broccolini tendestem broccoli
- 1 pack 320g/11oz pre-rolled puff pastry
- 125 g | 4 1/2 oz goat's cheese
- 55 g | 2oz blue cheese or mascarpone
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus more to drizzle
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tbsp grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the broccolini until just tender - about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Unroll the puff pastry but keep it on the paper it is wrapped in.
- Place on a large baking tray and slice in in quarters or cut into four squres. Space the pieces slightly apart on the tray.
- Score a small border around the edges of each piece with a knife and then prick within the border with a fork.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden.
- Meanwhile, mix the goat's cheese, blue cheese or mascarpone and olive oil together in a bowl.
- Press the middle of the galettes to flatten.
- Gently spread a little of the cheese mixture around the inside border of each galette, leaving a space for the egg.
- Crack the egs into a bowl and then gently slide into the galettes, being careful not to break the yolk.
- Place the broccolini on the sides of each galette, over the cheese.
- Sprinkle with the grated cheese, drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Return to the oven for 12 minutes, tenting the galettes with foil after 6 minutes.
- Check your galettes – the egg white should be just set. If the egg whites are still too runny then cook, uncovered, for a further 3 minutes. Remember that the egg will continue to cook slightly when you take the galettes out of the oven due to the residual heat.
- Cool for 3-4 minutes then serve.
To make Croque Madame galettes, follow the recipe until step 5. Fill the edges of each galette with grated Cheddar cheese and chopped ham, leaving a space for the eggs. Continue with the method to cook.