Bring a pan of water to the boil.
Carefully lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon.
If you want the yolks fully cooked, boil them for 3 minutes.
If you want the yolk a little soft, boil for 2 minutes (please note: these will be a little more fragile to work with than hard-boiled quail eggs, and are more likely to split whilst coating with meat).
When the cooking time is up, remove from the pan and place into a bowl of very cold water to cool.
This will prevent the white of the egg from turning grey. It doesn't affect the flavour or nutrition but it doesn't look very nice.
When cool, crack and peel the shells.
Quails eggs are notoriously time-consuming to peel. I find the easiest way is to remove a bit of shell, then pinch the white membrane underneath the shell with your thumbnail and peel that - the shell simply comes away with it.
If you've opted for a shorter cooking time and a softer yolk, the eggs will be more fragile to peel.
Pat each egg dry with some clean kitchen paper. If you skip this step you may have trouble getting the meat to stick to the egg and it will become a slippery mess!
Place the sausage meat into a bowl.
If using pork mince, season evenly and gently mix the seasoning through the meat.
Set up a small bowl of cold water next to you so you can regularly wet your hands to stop the meat from sticking.
Take a lump of meat, about the size of a golf ball, and squash it flat between your palms.
Place an egg in the middle, then fold up the edges of the meat and squish and pinch until it totally covers the egg.
Gently roll it between your palms until it is round and smooth.
Line up three small bowls. In the first one place the plain flour.
In the second bowl crack and whisk the egg.
And in the third bowl pour the breadcrumbs.
Roll one little scotch egg in the flour till covered. Shake off any excess.
Then roll it in the egg wash, allowing any excess to drain off.
And finally, roll it around in the breadcrumbs. I like to roll it between my palms at this stage to push the breadcrumbs into the scotch egg.
Pour your oil of choice into a deep fat fryer or a saucepan.
If the latter, aim to have the oil deep enough to cover your scotch eggs.
Heat the oil to 160C/320F (or until you can brown a cube of bread within 30 seconds).
Using a slotted spoon, gently lower between 1 and 4 mini scotch eggs into the hot oil and cook for 4 minutes.
Remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with a few sheets of kitchen paper.
You can cut one open to ensure the meat is cooked, or insert the probe of a digital thermometer between the sausagemeat and the quails egg. For the sausagemeat to be safe to consume it must reach 75C/167F.
The inside of the egg does not need to reach this temperature as it's already cooked and perfectly safe.
Please enjoy my recipe! Jane | hedgecombers.com