I genuinely love the book, right from the moment I first found it in TK Maxx in 2012. It’s so well presented, and inventive, and all the dishes look delicious. Other than an unsuccessful batch of scones I’ve never actually cooked anything, until now.
After a boozy bank holiday weekend – which included going through a bookcase into a hidden underground cocktail bar – I decided that a lighter meal was required. I was unable to face a salad so instead I chose this brunch party dish. I quite like the idea of a brunch party. In the book Angel says that there is always time for a party and if you don’t have the space to do it where you live you could have it in a vintage bus/car/tank and everyone would remember it for ever. They’d certainly remember it if my egg-stuffed tomatoes came out how they did this time!
This is the ultimate scale-able dish, with the same ingredients for 1 or 100 diners. For each person you will need: 1 large beef tomato, 1 large egg (free-range if you please), 1 tbsp of filling (the book suggests pesto, grated cheese, bacon, or pancetta – but I’d imagine you could use anything), and salt and pepper.
You will also need a ceramic/glass oven dish. I used my skillet because it seemed a good size for two tomatoes. Turn the oven on to 200c/gas 6/180c (fan) and lightly oil the dish.
Carefully slice a thin bit of the bottom off each tomato so they are a bit flat and won’t roll away. Next cut the lid off the top of each tomato, about 1cm thick. Use a small spoon to scrape out the middle insides of each tomato, leaving the edges intact. Discard the pulp and seeds.
Put the tomatoes into the dish, add the filling, then crack an egg into each one, season with salt and pepper, and put the lids back on.
Bake for 18-22 minutes until the egg whites are set and the yolks still runny. I served with some toast, but I’d not prepared any other bits of brunch-party food. You’re supposed to serve these immediately, so you wouldn’t be able to have your party too far from the oven.
I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. I’m pretty sure it was because I’d chosen the wrong tomatoes. I think they were just extra large salad tomatoes rather than proper beef tomatoes – and as you can see the sides seemed to have given way. They were really tasty though; I think if I’d managed to make them right they’d be a definite smash at any brunch party.
The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree (Octopus Publishing Group, 2011, ISBN 978 1 84533 647 9)