Yes, it's true. This is, in fact, the ultimate omelette. I have been making this thing for a few years now to rave reviews every time. There are a few secrets to making the perfect omelette. The first secret is using heavy cream. Most people will make an omelette using milk but it just doesn't have the fat to make a proper custard. Real omelette's, like the ones you imagine you'd get in a little French bistro are more custard than they are egg. Don't get me wrong, it won't be like you are eating pastry cream. This is a real omelette but it will be rich, tender and fluffy and a notch up from what us Americans are used to.
The second secret is using clarified butter (this is a process of melting butter and removing the solids. The clear/yellow stuff that is left behind has a higher burn temperature so your omelette will not brown). I have to admit, if I'm just making this for 1 or 2 people I usually skip this step (my eggs have never browned) but I do think it makes a difference for texture. The times I have used clarified butter, my omelette will fold on top of itself without loosing it's shape. The times I have not, it will not fold without breaking (It tastes just as yummy and looks just as pretty open face, like in the picture, so I don't care much). If you are really trying to perfect the art of making a great omelette, clarify your butter. If you are just making it for fun, don't. You won't taste the difference.
The third secret is once you have poured your well-beaten eggs in the pan you must keep them moving. Immediately start to "beat" them with a rubber spatula almost as if you were making scrambled eggs. Try not to let any of the eggs stay at the bottom of the pan for too long. Once the eggs have started to set up, meaning, you can't very well move the eggs around the pan without getting a few bald spots, immediately, settle the remaining unset eggs to make as even a layer as you can get and stick the pan in the oven to finish off. The last secret is to finish the omelette in the oven, but I've already told you that, so....The heat of the oven will be even and your omelette will puff and be beautiful in no time. Don't over cook. That is the only way to mess this perfect creation up.
The recipe originally serves 6 and uses 18 eggs for 3 eggs a person. I cut the recipe in half because 9 eggs sounds a lot less intimidating than 18. This will feed 3 people. The only problem is, I get annoyed that I don't know EXACTLY how many eggs to put in my pan. I have a hard time dividing something into three in my head (since all 9 are scrambled together in one bowl) so sometimes I do the math and scramble 3 eggs at a time, which is one serving, with appropriate measurements of cream. Maybe you are not as anal as I am. You can do whatever you want.
Don't skimp on the butter. Just don't. You need the fat in the pan or it won't turn out right. Also, you do need a small (9-inch) non-stick omelette pan for this in order to make individual omelettes. If all you have is a big non-stick pan, just put all the butter in, along with all the eggs and cook the same way. When it comes time for serving, just cut 3 wedges like a pizza.
The Ultimate Omelette
adapted from Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
9 eggs (3 per person)
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons
fresh herbs (chives, parsley, rosemary) in any combination, for topping
freshly ground pepper
Special equipment: 1 (9 inch) non-stick pan
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To clarify butter, put it in a small pot over low heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until butter separates. when the milk solids fall to the bottom and the golden butter-fat rises to the surface remove from heat. Set aside.
Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl and pour in cream. Whisk until well incorporated and foamy. This is a job for a whisk, not a fork.
Preheat the pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add 2-3 tablespoons of clarified butter. (yes...2-3) Turn the heat down slightly. Using a ladle, add 1/3 of the eggs to your pan. Eyeball it. Using a rubber spatula, start stirring quickly. This is to heat the eggs through so they set like a custard. Keep swirling them around so the edges aren't in one spot too long.
Once the eggs begin to set, stop stirring. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. When you remove the omelette from the oven it should still have a soft custard touch.
Sprinkle with chopped herbs, sea salt and cracked pepper.
If making individual omeletts, use a glove to hold the handle, tip the pan sideways and roll the omelette onto a plate with a spatula. It should fold over onto itself.
Thanks to my friend Kel for taking these pictures of me cooking!