Pickled Eggs

I’ve sat on barstools and eaten good pickled eggs and I’ve sat on barstools and eaten bad ones, and I’ve found that the condition of the barstool you’re sitting on is a pretty good indicator of the quality of the eggs. Not to be a total snob, but if the seat is cracked or the stuffing is leaking out, you’re probably going to want to ask for hot sauce.

At home I can make my eggs just the way I like them. I use farm-fresh eggs, a low-concentration pickling solution, plenty of whole spices, and a sliced beet to turn them hot magenta-pink. Distinguished with a cap of homemade honey-mustard mayonnaise and a sprinkling of fresh sweet-hot mustard dust (made by quickly pulverizing some yellow mustard seeds), these racy pink eggs are here to remind us of a good night at the bar, whether raucous or bittersweet or swinging in between.

The recipe makes 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, about double what you need for this recipe, but it’s difficult to make a smaller batch in a food processor. Besides, I find that the leftover honey-mustard mayonnaise makes an amazing addition to potato salad or egg salad. If you don’t want to make homemade mayonnaise, however, you can always doctor store-bought mayo.–Amy Thielen

LC Pretty In Pink Note

If you’re a pickled eggs virgin, you’re in for something special. Kindly note, they’re not always served with spiced mayo, as they are here. Or with a beer, as the author clearly prefers. They’re also a fairly traditional accompaniment to Easter dinner, for what we think are obvious reasons. Talk about pretty in pink. Oh, and moms, what better thing to serve your little princess who will only deign to eat pink?!

Pickled Eggs Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 12 pickled eggs

Ingredients

  • For the beet pickled eggs
  • 1 medium red beet, unpeeled
  • 1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 5 small dried red chiles
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 large eggs
  • For the honey-mustard mayo (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Make the beet pickled eggs
  • 1. Wash and scrub the beet, trim and discard the ends, and slice the beet into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Pour 3 cups cold water into a saucepan and add the beet, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, chiles, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour the pickling liquid into a large storage container and refrigerate.
  • 2. Place the eggs in a 2-quart saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, boil for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and leave the eggs in the water for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs, gently crack the shells against the side of the pan, and add enough cold water to cover them. Peel the eggs underwater, discarding the shells and adding the eggs to the cold pickling liquid. You want the storage container to be sufficiently narrow so that the eggs are submerged in the pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate the eggs, letting them steep in the pickling liquid at least overnight and up to 7 days. (The longer you leave the eggs submerged in the pickling liquid, the flashier the hot pink color and the more pervasive it will be throughout the egg.)
  • Make the honey-mustard mayo (optional)
  • 3. Pulverize the mustard seeds in a spice-devoted coffee grinder until finely ground but not powdery. In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, and water, and buzz to combine. With the machine running, begin to add the canola oil, drop by drop, until an emulsion forms. Then slowly add the rest of the canola oil, followed by the olive oil, pouring in a very thin but steady stream. Season with 4 teaspoons ground mustard seeds, the honey, the Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • 4. To serve the pickled eggs, blot them dry on paper towels, cut each one in half, and set on a platter (a deviled egg platter, if you have one). Dollop a small spoonful honey-mustard mayonnaise over the yolk of each egg, and, if desired, sprinkle generously with the remaining hot mustard dust—that is, the finely ground mustard seeds.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Apr 09, 2014

These pickled eggs were little treasures! I'd never made pickled eggs before, and these were a great beginning. They were slightly sweet with the homemade honey-mustard mayonnaise yet savory at the same time. A comforting twist on the normal deviled egg. I followed the boiled egg instructions and the timing was perfect as the yolks were perfectly cooked. I peeled the eggs underwater as stated, but couldn't see that it helped remove the shells any better. The eggs went into the pickling liquid and I put the beet slices on top to push the eggs completely into the liquid. We ate the eggs at 3 days and again at 6 days. The longer they stayed in the pickling liquid, the more intensely colored the whites were. The pulverized mustard seed yielded 5 teaspoons, so 4 teaspoons went into the honey-mustard mayonnaise and I had 1 teaspoon left to sprinkle on top. I would add an additional 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard next time for that extra tang. These eggs would be perfect for an Easter buffet or for hors d'oeuvres with sausage and cheeses. I was delighted to have the extra honey-mustard mayonnaise for egg salad and potato salad.

Testers Choice
Melissa Maedgen

Apr 09, 2014

Pickled eggs. I love ‘em. First exposure was the mysterious jar on the counters of gas stations. No fancy presentation there—ask for an egg, they fish one out and you take it and eat it whole in your truck. Then I started making them at home, but I didn’t color them with beet juice. They made for a nice addition to my workday lunch. This recipe is colored hot pink and dressed up by being halved and served with a homemade honey-mustard mayonnaise. Pickled eggs, you’ve come a long way, babies. I did have a few quibbles with this recipe, so let’s start there. The method for boiling the eggs works fine, although I prefer to steam the eggs for about 15 minutes and then shock them in ice water. You can crack the eggs against the side of the pan, as directed, but you’ll have better luck cracking them against your kitchen counter, and rolling them around until the shell is cracked all over. Do peel them underwater (preferably cold water) as directed, but you might want to do this in a large bowl, rather than the pot with all the eggs in it, so you have room for your hands. Better yet, if you don’t live in a drought-stricken area, peel them under running water in the sink.

The recipe instructs you to let the eggs pickle overnight or up to 7 days. I tasted the eggs at several points in the pickling process. I don’t think overnight or even 2 nights is enough to produce a true pickled egg. I would plan on 5 to 7 days in the brine, although the eggs can keep in the brine for much, much longer. Months, even. The brine will continue to penetrate the egg into the yolk.

Because the brine is very low on salt and pretty low on sugar, the eggs come out a bit sour and incomplete tasting on their own. But add that honey-mustard mayo and they come to life. The recipe given here works very nicely and adds needed seasoning and richness to the eggs. The honey is low-key here, and the finished mayonnaise is not notably sweet. Mustard is an effective emulsifier, so I would suggest adding the Dijon mustard at the beginning of the process, but do save the ground mustard for the end. I neglected to reserve any of the ground mustard for sprinkling over the eggs before serving; I just added it all to the mayonnaise. I would do that again, as freshly ground mustard seeds don’t have that great a flavor. They need to sit and blend with other ingredients. I found 1 teaspoon kosher salt to be about right for seasoning. The flavor of the mayonnaise improves greatly after some time in the fridge, so I would suggest making the mayonnaise at least a day, preferably 2 days, before you serve the eggs. The eggs, pickled for at least 5 days and served with the mayo on top, were very nice. But I got to thinking and experimenting a bit. You can scoop the yolks out of the halved eggs, mash them up with about 2 teaspoons honey-mustard mayo per yolk, and then refill the eggs to have beet-pickled deviled eggs. This was even better, taste-wise, than the eggs with the mayonnaise blobbed on top.

You can play around a lot with pickled eggs. For example, you could use golden beets instead of red. Or you could use fresh turmeric to color the eggs (and flavor them). Or annatto seeds. You could play around with the spices used, and the flavors in the mayonnaise. I could see adding a bit of tarragon to the mayonnaise, or the pickling brine. Lots of possibilities for these, but one thing is for sure: They aren’t your gas station’s pickled eggs. While I've never seen pickled eggs served with a spiced mayo before, in this case, I would say the mayo is NOT optional. The flavor of these eggs was not balanced for eating plain. They were intended to have the mayo on them, and they need it.

Testers Choice
Robert Castagna

Apr 09, 2014

This pickled eggs recipe had great flavor transfer and color. Peeling the eggs underwater did make it easier. They were very good served the way the recipe states, but I also liked them with some Greek yogurt that had been drained and had curry added.

Testers Choice
Denise Grace

Apr 09, 2014

I've never had or made pickled eggs before, but the beautiful pink color in the photo intrigued me—and inspired me to try these out Right off the bat, I was impressed by how easy it was to peel the eggs. (I had never learned the trick about peeling them underwater--worked like a charm). Perfect hard-boiled eggs alone made this recipe a winner.

I let my eggs pickle for 5 days. They are absolutely beautiful. I posted a picture of them on Facebook, and right away a friend who has made pickled eggs said that they were perfectly pickled.

These eggs taste great. I love the honey mustard mayo on top, but they taste great without any topping. I'm thinking they'll make a great addition to my lunches this week. The only comment I have to make about the recipe is that the amount of salt, in my opinion, should be listed in the ingredients, because when I prepare a recipe, I go through and gather all the ingredients from that list. If it's not there, sometimes it throws me off. Otherwise, this one is perfection.

Comments
Comments
  1. David Smith says:

    We had these all the time growing up on the farm. Pennsylvania Dutch food. As my sister says, “Don’t forget the sugar, or it’s pucker city.” I’ve also used beet juice from pickled beets.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Hi…I can’t wait to try these pickled eggs! Several years ago I had a deviled egg at a church function and the egg was bright pink and I wondered how they did it – now I know! However, I do have a few questions before I begin my pickling: The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of water and the directions say to add 3 cups of water? The directions also say to add salt to the saucepan and I don’t see salt in the ingredient list. What is the correct quantity of water and salt? Thanks so much. I can’t wait to try these eggs for our Easter dinner!!!

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Jennifer, if you look closely, you’ll see the 1 tablespoon of water is for the mayo. The 3 cups of water is for the cooking of the beets. As far as the amount of salt, a hefty pinch is plenty. Let me know how the recipe turns out!

  3. Martha in KS says:

    David, looks like you too have become an Amy T fan. Her recipes are so down to earth & her tv show easy to watch. Gotta go pickle me some eggs! Or is it quickle?

  4. KitchenBeard says:

    My Dear Mr. Leite – When I was a child, my Indiana grandmother would present us with eggs pickled in the juice of a couple of cans of beets when we my mother would load us up for a two week visit over the summer. In my 70′s childhood naivete, I considered them exotic and strange and wonderful. It was only when I became an adult that my mother explained they were depression era preserving at its best and something my firmly middle class WASP father never comprehended that I understood why she never made them otherwise. These days I’ve had an itch to remake them for their earthy sweet flavor and that shocking fuschia color that would go so well with an Easter cocktail at a picnic while balancing an Easter bonnet on my head. Thank you for the inspiration.

    KB

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      My Dearest Mr. KitchenBeard. a lovely, yet strangely sad, story. I’m so happy that I could be but a wee part of the inspiration for your to make these lovely ovo-jewels. Please send photos.

  5. Robin says:

    These pickled eggs are delicious! I made the recipe before the quantity for the salt was given in the recipe. I added a lot more than 3/4 tsp. I think I did about 1 to 1 1/2 tbsps. But they are fantastic. I haven’t made the honey-mustard mayo yet, just tried the eggs at 2 days. Mine are pretty, but more of a subdued rose color (intense, just not as bright a color) than the bright pink in the photo. I wonder why? Could it be the additional salt? Other than the salt, I followed the recipe exactly.

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Robin, so glad you liked them! The color can be due to so many things: the age of quality of the beets, how high your simmer is, how long they sat, etc. But if you make these again, let the the eggs sit in the pickling liquid, as the recipe suggests. That will surely help.

  6. irene seales says:

    I am making these as part of an Easter picnic, splitting a batch with red or chiogga beets and golden ones – they will make a fun alternative to traditional deep red eggs that we grew up with – and those red dye packets people used to get from the Greek church probably contain dye I don’t want to think about!

    Robin’s comment made we wonder about the PH of her water – since we have well water that is a bit on the alkaline side, and I notice some interesting colours with red cabbage. I am thinking it may be a factor and may use purified water that I use for the kettle and espresso machine instead of our ‘mineral rich’ well water.

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Irene, you MUST send pictures of the eggs. Dying to see how the golden beets work. And I think you may have something there about the well water. Perhaps Robin will drop in and comment.

  7. Kathy Thrasher says:

    I’ve never made pickled eggs but I’m going to try these just because the color is so gorgeous!

  8. Silke says:

    Sooooo – I really wanted to like them. But both hubby and me agree that we like the German pickled eggs, pickled in a salty brine, much much better, mainly because the yolks undergo a magic transformation into creamy goodness. And because we both think that salt goes better with eggs than vinegar. But that’s just us.

    Side note: I used a golden beet, and it didn’t color very strongly. But I’ll put a red beet in my next batch of Grandma’s German pickled eggs for the pretty color!

  9. Hello fellow pickled egg missionaries
    I was really interested to read your recipe and comments. Its always good to hear what other people are doing. Beetroot flavoured pickled eggs are one of the flavours that we include in our pickled egg range and are really popular – although the fruity balsamic flavoured ones seem to be the most popular with ‘pickled egg virgins’ that we meet. In the UK we dont tend to add any water to our pickling recipe which gives the eggs a full-on vinegar hit – its not for everyone but seems to be the preference here. One thing I have found with the beetroot ones is that leaving a few chunks of beetroot in the jar helps to make the pink colour last a little longer – ofcourse unless the eggs get eaten first!
    Happy pickling!

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