Food writer Jenny Jefferies writes about the humble, but oh so important, egg, in her column this month.

Poached, scrambled, boiled and fried; eggs are so versatile and offer us so much nutrition, taste and heavenly comfort. 

We have been eating eggs for more than six million years and continue to do so all over the world. Eggs are considered symbols of birth and fertility in many cultures, mainly due to their biological representation. The egg is one of the first religious symbols, and brings us a vision of hope and purity.

My family and I have enjoyed many an opportunity in seeing a road sign reading 'Fresh Eggs For Sale' and popping a few pounds in the honesty box. We also frequently save up our empty egg boxes and donate them to a local egg seller.

No words are ever exchanged; only a shared enthusiasm for local business support and tradition. This is certainly one of the things that I love about living in a rural village. 

Charles Mear, of Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Ltd in Waresley says: “In our efforts to be as green as possible, we mill our feed for the hens on the farm using solar energy.

"We use wheat and barley from neighbouring farmers and add vitamins, nutrients, probiotics and enriched natural yeasts to keep the hens at the peak of health. In 2019 we met the Better Origin team and started to feed black soldier fly larvae (BSFL insect protein) to the hens in the first experiment of its kind worldwide to try and reduce our reliance on imported soya".

They contribute a delightful and simple recipe for Crème Brulée as featured in my first book For The Love Of The Land: A Cookbook To Celebrate British Farmers and Their Food, published by Meze Publishing.

This is a family favourite and, of course, uses Wood Farm’s free-range eggs! A great friend of ours who amazingly made all the food for our wedding, passed this recipe on to me. I like to use medium eggs as the yolk size is the same as a large egg.

Follow @jennyljefferies on Instagram and Twitter 

Crème Brulée by Charles and Jo Mear of Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Ltd in Waresley. 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus at least two hours to chill. Cooking Time: 40 minutes. Serves six.

Crème Brulée by Charles and Jo Mear of Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Ltd in Waresley. Crème Brulée by Charles and Jo Mear of Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Ltd in Waresley.  (Image: Paul Gregory Photography)


6 eggs (I tend to use medium)

½ tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for

sprinkling on top

1 pint (568ml) double cream

1 punnet of fresh raspberries


Separate the eggs and put the yolks in a bowl, reserving the whites for another

recipe. Mix the yolks with a fork (not a whisk) and then stir in the vanilla essence

and sugar.

Meanwhile, heat the cream in a saucepan but do not let it boil. Once hot, take the

pan off the heat and stir the cream into the egg mixture until combined.

Firmly tap the bowl on a flat surface a few times to remove any air bubbles in the

mixture. Pour equal amounts into 6 ramekins (no more than three quarters full)

and cook at 180°c in a bain-marie for 25 minutes. What this means is to place the ramekins in a deep roasting tin large enough to hold all six of them without touching each other, then pour freshly boiled water into the tin (being careful not to splash the brulées) until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.

Place the bain-marie carefully into the preheated oven and cook for the specified time.

Once the brulées are cooked, remove the ramekins from the bain-marie and allow to cool, then cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours but preferably six hours or longer.

Then, 20 minutes before you want to serve, sprinkle each brulée with a thin layer of caster sugar and either use a cook’s blowtorch or a hot grill to melt the sugar until it has turned dark gold.

Leave for five minutes for the sugar to set into a crisp topping, then serve with a few raspberries on the side. Yum!