Brulee and Poached

Brulee and Poached

Cold gray rain is falling outside. The leaves are clinging to the trees for one last ride before they float to the ground to end their season. I am right where I want to be, in my warm home with a Cody-man on my lap, curled in his colorful blanket of reds, golds, and blues. Seasons are changing and I am thankful.


Home schooling has been a beautiful experience. We are in the third month of kindergarten for Ryder and the other two are right there with him. Science Fridays are an absolute favorite.


Eggs, seemingly the most versatile object for young scientists, were front and center once again. The focus was crème brulees and poached eggs because we had some questions that needed answering:

  1. How many parts are there to an egg?
  2. Which hardens first, whites or yolks? Why?
  3. What does poached mean anyways?
  4. Can honey be substituted for sugar in a crème brulee and is the consistency the same?


Large cold eggs in little hands, the responsibility of the task before them was taken oh-so-seriously. They held the orbs with strength and determination, CRACK! SPLIT! PLOP!

The challenge came when separating the whites from the yolks for the crème brulee custard mix. Slotted spoons gently slid under slippery yolks brought wide smiles as one, two, three, four yolks made their way to the mixing bowl. Vanilla beans swirled with heavy cream until nearly boiling. The smells of the honey in bright orange yolks and dark bits of vanilla beans in bright white milk was a delight.


Like yellow ribbons of silk, the slow tempering of the warm vanilla mixture whisked into the eggs and honey. It took everything in us not to lick the custard mix right then and there. We then repeated the process for our batch with sugar.


Shallow dishes embraced the custard liquid as warm water enveloped around them. Covered tightly, the custards were counted down in the oven for fifteen minutes as we took to experiment number two: Poached Eggs.



Ryder measured 1.5 inches of water in the pan while Rory patiently waited for the simmering bubbles to appear. She swirled them away like a well-practiced fairy with her wand while I slowly let loose the four eggs into their 190 degree bath. Ryder set his timer for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.


The whites were first to change from clear to opaque. As I waited for the yolks to harden, the chaos broke: Like the dozen eggs cracked, Science Friday took its normal sharp turn to mess and exploration. My patience was unlike the slowly setting custard in the oven; rather it was like the water nearly boiling the eggs in their poaching pan. The tipping point was nearing danger.


Cody finished the third round of scrubbing dishes with the usual gallons of water on the floor below him. Crayons littered the breakfast nook while the dog tried his best to lick up crumbs. Sugar was licked from measuring cups intended for use. Slimy eggs found the counter’s surface mixing in with bowls and utensils galore. I tried my best to reel the morning back in, but eventually gave way to the chaos. What did it matter? Surely they learned something and so have I. Wasn’t that the point anyways?


All at once the timer for both the poached and custard eggs dinged. The custards were watery and not set. The poached eggs were pillowy white and looked exactly as intended. With the custards half out of the oven, I tried my best to assess the next step. Children swirled and the tension high. Shutting the door, I guessed 15 minutes more.

Poached eggs met colorful bowls. Ryder and Rory declared the eggs perfection and I wholeheartedly agreed!


The custards soon followed and looked amazing.


I asked Ryder what he learned and the following came from he and Rory both:

  • Eggs have: shells, whites, and yolks. “They also have this papery gross stuff after the shell,” Rory explains (membrane).
  • Whites harden first (this is because of more protein)
  • Poached means simmered. Specifically at 190 degrees for this recipe.
  • We also learned that honey can be a full substitute for sugar in a crème brulee. Three things to keep in mind: makes the mix expand, so what serves four actually serves six or seven. Cook time is 30 minutes and not 15 as some recipes declare. It really is important to keep them tightly covered in their water bath.

Eggcellent! Bon Appetit!

Stay tuned for the Mini Macks’ Honey Creme Brulee recipe and another honey tasting adventure!



3 Replies to “Brulee and Poached”

  1. I fully admit it…I “read” your blogs first for the pictures and THEN for content and the last picture of Cody and his tongue was the best! Tells the whole story…minus the water..,and I could see that, once again, you have made Fun Fridays (I mean “Science” Fridays) what school should be like every day – but can’t be for the sanity of the mom. Well done, one and all!

  2. Anyone else read the questions and think….geee, errrm, I know this…. Char I have decided that homeschooling is also teaching you and making you super brainy. My school never taught me about eggs!! Also, your children will now be better cooks than me – those creme brulee’s look delish!! Love.