Pickling is a long practiced art of preserving normally perishable foods so that waste could be managed and lean times passed by without too much discomfort. It was the Pennsylvania Dutch that brought us pickled eggs and beets. By paring the sweet beets and the rich eggs with traditional brine, they were able to give to us a snacking treasure.
First and most important are the eggs. Short of farm fresh eggs the eggs can’t be too fresh. To quickly make the perfect boiled egg, start with a large pot that will hold a dozen eggs on one level at the bottom. Then take sewing needle and pierce the blunt end of the egg to make a small hole.
Do this to all twelve eggs and cover in the pot with an inch of water. Once the water is at a rolling boil turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for about fifteen minutes to finish cooking. To cool off the eggs quickly, place them in cold water and then remove the shell. Starting at the blunt end of the egg, crack the shell all over and peel under running water.
Assemble the large pot, jars, rings, lids, and tongs. Quart sized jars are recommended in this application because they will hold about a dozen medium eggs. First is the sterilizing of the jars before getting started. The method outlined here is one that is easy to do at home. Start with very clean jars, rings, and lids that have been washed in hot soapy water and rinsed clean. In the large pot, heat the water to a rolling boil. With clean tongs, transfer the lids, rings and jars to be submerged in the water to boil for five minutes. Remove the equipment with the tongs and set the jars right side up on paper towels.
These recipes listed below are a variation on traditional pickling recipes but with a modern taste profile to appeal to people who want something different. Each of these two recipes uses beet juice to color and flavor the eggs though you could throw in as many slices of beet to add visual appeal to your jars as you see fit. These recipes also produces brine enough for a dozen eggs in a quart jar and can be scaled up to fit your application.
Lemon Dill Eggs with Beets
Combining the sweet taste of beets with the bright taste of lemons will create a balance that will cut the richness of the yolk. These eggs and beets are also great sliced into salads and stuffed into sandwiches.
- 1 dozen medium eggs
- 1 c vinegar
- 1 whole lemon sliced
- 1 c beet juice
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill
- 3 tsp salt
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- Canned sliced beets to fill the spaces
Take the vinegar, lemon, water and spices and heat to a rolling boil. While waiting for the brine to boil, pack the eggs and beets into the quart jar. After the brine starts to boil turn down the heat and simmer for about five minutes. Fill the jars with the brine, making sure to leave head room at the top. Head room is the space where the lid screws on the jar. Secure the lid and then stuff into the refrigerator to cool.
Curry Pickled Eggs in Beet Juice
For those who want something different, there is the Garlic Curry Pickled Egg in Beet Juice. These eggs can provide a delicious something different to deviled eggs.
- 1 1/2 c white vinegar
- ½ c beet juice
- 4 tbsp pickling salt
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
Just as above, you want your vinegar and spices brought to a rolling boil. Pack your eggs in the jar so that they are waiting at the end of the five minute simmering stage. Fill your jars with the brine making sure to cover the eggs completely but leave head room at the top of the jar and refrigerate.
Pickled eggs hold a place in American cuisine as a snack that no one remembers eating themselves. It was usually a grandfather or an uncle who would eat them while fishing or some other outdoor activity. With the slow food movement reeducating the public about the value of do-it-yourself cooking and canning there is a move to make these wonderful traditional snacks at home.