Claire Macdonald’s Asparagus Timbales with Hollandaise Sauce

Claire Macdonald

Just over a year ago at the Masterchefs' Lunch, I met one of my food heroes, Claire Macdonald. Not only is she delightful, she gave me permission to reproduce her recipes. We try to stay seasonal here, and ingredients don't get much more seasonal than British asparagus. I've written about it before. As it's sometimes best to leave things alone - steamed, griddled or baked, with melted butter or poached egg - how much more is there to be said?

Having recently enjoyed the company of house guests who arrived with some bunches of the stuff, I decided I needed expert input, and turned to Lady Claire's More Seasonal Cooking. Not a recipe for the weight watchers among you. Leaving aside the veg itself, the other ingredients are cream and eggs - then you slather it in Hollandaise.

Ingredients (serves 8)

For the timbales

500g asparagus (net weight after you've removed the tougher part of the stalks); 4 large eggs, beaten; 300ml single cream; butter for greasing the ramekins; freshly grated nutmeg; s & p.

For the Hollandaise sauce

We published a recipe for this last year in the Eggs Benedict recipe. Click on the link to find it.


Preheat your oven to 180˚C/Mark 4.

Butter eight large ramekins. Steam the asparagus until tender. Blend to a purée, then sieve. Return the purée to the blender and blend in the eggs, then the cream. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and place in a roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the tin so it comes half way up the ramekins. Bake for about 25 minutes until the mixture feels quite firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and take the ramekins out off the tin. Leave  for 10 minutes or so before turning out on to a plate. Run the tip of a knife round the edge of the ramekin, cover with a plate, then invert. Claire writes, the timbale should come out easily and in one piece.

The pros always make these things sound so simple, don't they? Serve with Hollandaise sauce, then get your arteries checked.

Claire Macdonald's More Seasonal Cooking (1987) is one of 20 or so cookery books which she has penned. Widely available on Amazon. I have loads of them. Each one is a cracker. Thanks again, ma'am.

Tom's Food! will be back in a week or two


1 Comment

  1. Janet Hood on 12th May 2023 at 5:54 pm

    Oh, this looks super Tom. Will try tomorrow,

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