A classic French omelette—simple yet elegant—should have a silky-smooth exterior and a custardy interior that's just barely cooked. Chef Boulud walks you through every step: from whisking, to cooking, to shaping the omelette into its iconic rolled cylinder. It may take a few tries to get it just right, but the effort is worth it!
Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Use a fork to whisk until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute; stir in a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. To make clarified butter: In a small saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter over medium heat and bring to a simmer, 5–7 minutes. As white foam collects on the surface, skim off with a small ladle or spoon and discard; these are the milk solids. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue skimming until the butter is clear. Pour the clarified butter through a cheesecloth-lined strainer to catch the smaller milk solids, and set aside. (Note: Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter, allowing for cooking at higher temperatures. Clarified butter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several months.)
Heat a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon clarified butter and swirl to coat to bottom. When the pan is hot, pour in the eggs and begin quickly and gently shaking the pan. While shaking, stir the eggs with a heatproof spatula, using small circular movements to loosen the curds and lightly scramble, about 20 seconds. The constant movement should prevent any part of the eggs from overcooking or taking on color.
When the eggs are creamy and still only partly cooked, shake the pan to level the omelette. Turn the heat to low. Tilt the pan slightly and begin rolling the omelette: first, loosen the edge closest to the handle, then roll it toward the middle. (The cooked side should show no browning.) When the omelette is half-rolled, run the spatula around the far edge to release the eggs from the pan. Then tilt the pan more sharply and tap it firmly on the stovetop (or a cutting board) to loosen the omelette. Bang on the handle with your free hand to help the far edge begin to roll up; use the spatula as needed to tuck it toward the center of the omelette. Add butter to the pan and let it melt along the exterior of the omelette.
Gently flip the omelette onto a plate, seam side down. Use your hands or a spatula to gently perfect the shape and tuck in any loose edges. Serve immediately.