Le Gruyère AOP mendicant egg casserole

15' 15'

If there is one food that is full of symbols, it is the egg! But first, a few explanations on this strange name of "mendicant".

You should know that in certain regions of Provence, during the end-of-year festivities, Christmas was celebrated with the custom of making 13 desserts. The list is long, which is why we propose these 4 Christmas "mendicants" representing the 4 mendicant orders in the Catholic religion:

•    Raisins for the Dominican order, 
•    Almonds for the Carmelite order, 
•    Dried figs for the Franciscan order, 
•    Hazelnuts or walnuts for the Augustinian order.

But let's get back to this egg! Since the dawn of time and in most cultures throughout the world, the egg has been present and even omnipresent. Sometimes it is a symbol of rebirth, in the literal sense of the word, sometimes in the spiritual sense. Through a metaphor of eternity, the egg brings a vision of the eternal cycle not only by its form, but also by its function: that of giving life.

The egg is also recognised by some for its "magical" functions. Calling on your imagination, have you ever wondered what the egg might mean to you? Some may say that it is simply food, but others may think that the egg has a philosophical function such as protection, nesting, peace and serenity.

Who hasn't asked themselves the famous question: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” In July 2010, English researchers provided an answer to this great dilemma: for them, it is the chicken. They explain this by the fact that a protein (ovocleidin-17) which is essential for the development of the egg is only found in the body of the hen.

Enjoy your meal!

Ingredients for



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  • 150 g
    of half-fat quark
  • 1 pinch
    of curry powder
  • +
    salt and pepper
  • 40 g
    of dried figs
  • 40 g
    of peeled almonds
  • 40 g
    of raisins
  • 40 g
    of peeled hazelnuts
  • 20 g
    Gruyère AOP
  • 4
    whole eggs
  • 1 sprig
    of aromatic herbs from the garden
  • 4
    edible flowers for decoration


  1. Preheat oven to 170° (gas setting 5-6)
  2. Coarsely crush the dried fruit with an electric mixer and set aside.
  3. Mix the quark with a teaspoon of curry powder and the dried fruit and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place half of the curried curd mixture in ovenproof ramekins. Then cut a few slices of 5 to 7 month old Le Gruyère AOP and place them on top. You can use a vegetable peeler to make these.
  5. Break an egg into each ramekin.
  6. Cover with the second part of the quark on top of each filled ramekin.
  7. Add the herbs on top as decoration (my personal taste preference being sage).
  8. Bake the ramekins in a bain-marie (water halfway up the ramekins on a baking sheet).
  9. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and serve hot. Add the flower on top as decoration at the last moment.

Delicious to know

Use very fresh eggs. They will cook more evenly. If you have a steam oven, steam for 15 minutes with a plastic film on top.

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