22 January 2013

How to boil an egg

Well, it's more 'How to peel an egg', to be strictly accurate. I present for your inspection two batches of hard -boiled eggs.

Batch 1:

Batch 2:

Batch 1 was cooked on Sunday, with the intention of making pickled eggs. As you can see, they peeled so badly that they are only fit for egg sandwiches. Batch 2 was cooked today.

The eggs were all the same age: 3 or 4 days old and I cooked them exactly the same way (gentle simmer for 10 minutes then drained and plunged into iced water). The only difference was in the length of time I allowed them to cool. With the first batch, I was distracted by something else and they sat in the bath of iced water for half an hour. During that time the outer layers of the white became firmly glued to the shell and impossible to separate. With the second batch, the eggs went into the iced water and were then peeled almost immediately, as soon as they were cool enough to handle. Maybe this is something that everyone else already knows, but I thought I'd share my discovery here in case it's helpful!

Pickled eggs have established themselves as a firm favourite since I first made them back in 2011. They're very easy to make and the end result is a useful, nutritious component of a packed lunch or a satisfying snack. Here's how I make them.

Recipe for Pickled Eggs

14 hard-boiled eggs
200ml/7 fluid ounces water
200ml/7 fluid ounces white vinegar
1tsp salt
Whole spices to taste, e.g.whole chilli, peppercorns, allspice, cloves, garlic cloves

Bring the vinegar and water to the boil with the salt and spices, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pack the eggs into a two-pound jar, pour over the vinegary brine and refrigerate. You can start eating the eggs after two days, but they'll taste better after a week or two. They keep for months in the fridge. Or would do, if they didn't get eaten much more quickly than that (I find I'm making a batch of these once a week!).


Lisa from Iroquois said...

I would never attempt to hardboil an egg that fresh! LOL. When I need them for potato salad or devilled eggs I stick them at the back of the fridge for at least a week. It was educational to see the difference in timing between the batches. Learn something every day. Thank you.

Quinn said...

Thanks for the great comparison shots! One more clue to the mystery of perfectly peeled eggs ;)
I usually wait til eggs are at least a week old, often older, before hardboiling. And I don't refrigerate beforehand (homegrown eggs), so that may make a difference, I don't know.
I saw a video on YouTube a while ago, of a man who peeled an egg by sort of blowing into it once. The entire shell came off in a single piece. It was amazing! Sure wish I could find that video again...my chicken group on rav would enjoy it, I'm sure!

adetia said...

why 14? does it matter if you do just a dozen? ;)

Amanda said...

Hi Adetia - a dozen is fine - I've just found that 14 eggs fit perfectly into a two-pound jar!

Anonymous said...

I find if you take a teaspoon and run it under the hardboiled shell
it well be easier to peel....