Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What I did with excess eggs!

We host international students, which is great fun. Recently one of them went back to her home country leaving behind three dozen shop bought eggs! We have a rather large number of chickens and so eggs are not in short supply in any case. After we had made mini quiches, a bacon and egg pie and did a bit of baking, I was at a loss at how to get rid of the last dozen before they were no good. I was reading a book about pickling and found a recipe for pickled eggs and decided to give it a go...

Here's what I did...

First, I boiled up the eggs. As you can see these ones are on their last legs. A fresh egg lays on its side when you put it in a pot of water. The older it is, the further it sits up until it finally floats - where most people recommend that you throw them out. have a look at this link for more detailed information about egg freshness.

Then I put traditional pickling spices into the two jars.

Peeled garlic, broken cinnamon sticks, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, bay leaves and a few cloves went into this mix.
In a pot on the stove, dissolve 2 teaspoons of pickling salt (fine salt) in 1/2 a cup of water. Add 1 cup of vinegar and let it cool.

Once the eggs had cooled, I peeled them - the older the egg, the easier it is to peel!
Fresh eggs are notoriously hard to peel and often you end up peeling more white than there is left to eat!
I always use my oldest eggs for hard boiling.

Pack the eggs into the jars. I didn't have a big enough jar for all twelve eggs so I did them in two separate jars.

Add the vinegar/salt/water mix that you made earlier to the jars. These jars are, maybe, 400mls and with the 6 eggs in them, it used up the whole 1.5 cups of the mixture. I made up a second lot of salt/vinegar/water (this time with 1/2 white and 1/2 balsamic vinegar) and added that to the second jar - just to see what would happen.

The recipe uses white vinegar so that the eggs stay "natural" looking. It also mentioned that the Pennsylvanian Dutch put in a slice of beetroot to make the eggs go pink and the Brits use malt vinegar which dyes the eggs a tan brown colour.

The eggs are still white in this picture but a week or so later are quite dark!

Make sure the mixture covers the eggs.

Pop the lids on them.

Label them and keep them in the fridge.

The eggs are best after 1-2 weeks and need to be eaten within a few months for the best quality. The longer the eggs stay in the brine, the more rubbery the whites get.

This recipe came from a book called The Pickled Pantry by Andrea Chesman. Its full of all sorts of pickled goodies. Mine are a day or so away from being tasted - I'll let you know how they go!

Score card: 
Green-ness: 5/5 for preserving an excessive harvest or glut!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for using things I already had!
Time cost: About 1/2 an hour all up.
Skill level: Super basic cooking skills!
Fun-ness: Great fun!

Update 13th July 2013.

I like 'em!
They have a slightly rubbery texture to the outside where the vinegar and salt have got into the outside edges of the egg. Reminds me a bit of processioned cheese slices in texture. Then the inside is just like a normal boiled egg with an outer covering the is a salty vinegar-y taste (which I like!)

The ones in Balsamic vinegar look really scary!!!
Shiny dark brown...

Once you bite into them, you can see that the brown is only skin deep and the rest is just like a normal hard boiled egg.

The ones pickled in white vinegar look more like hard boiled eggs and I found people more willing to try them. I think the white pickled ones would go well in a potato salad. They have pretty much the same sort of taste (salted vinegar) but the brown ones are stronger.

I have started taking these to work as a snack and have found them good to come home and pick out of the fridge when you are hungry and a biscuit seems like a good idea! They fill me up much better than a biscuit and the savoriness of them seems to dull the appetite for anything sweet after one!

Try it and let me know how you went! - Kxx


africanaussie said...

Many years ago we lived and traveled around on a sailboat without refrigeration. I used to make pickled eggs.

Practical Frog said...

Really?? How cool! I opened up a jar and had a taste today. I like them!!! Some members of the family aren't rapt with them but that just leaves more for me! - K xx

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