It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means that Deviled Egg season is here.
The hardest thing about making deviled eggs is peeling the hardboiled eggs. If you make Deviled Eggs, chances are that you have been that person who brought pock-marked Deviled Eggs to the table.
Because peeling hard-boiled eggs is such an issue, I have tried every technique that I have ever heard of or read about in search of a foolproof method. A few years ago I thought I had the answer when my friend Kirsten gave me a tip that worked really well; crack the bottoms of the eggs and peel them while they are really hot. That works most of the time, but not always.
The classic way to boil eggs is to start with cold eggs and cold water. But after a particularly disastrous peeling experience, I started my experiments once again. I wanted to see what would happen if I boiled the water and put the cold eggs in the boiling water. I was hoping the shock of the temperature would prevent the egg white from bonding to the inner shell’s membrane. I am not a food scientist, but I thought it was worth a shot.
I tried it and it worked, and by now I have tried it many, many times and I am a convert to the boiling water boiled egg. It might also be the ice water bath shocking the eggs again. I don’t know the exact why, but I know that it works!
I make them when I want to make an almost runny egg for my avocado toast or any other time a soft-yolk egg is in order. And, each time I have been rewarded with a shell that almost slips off leaving a perfect unblemished egg. I figured, if it works for runny jammy eggs, it will work for hard-boiled eggs and it did.
Once you have your perfect hard-boiled and peeled eggs, you are ready to make deviled eggs.
You may already have your favorite recipe and if so, make that. If you are looking for a new recipe or don’t have one, here is my favorite deviled egg recipe. I call is Straight-Up Deviled Eggs because they are plain and simple, and appeal to everyone.
I don’t add a lot of high-flavor ingredients, no pickle relish or onion. They are made creamy and piquant with real mayonnaise, butter, dijon mustard, lemon zest and a bit of juice, and seasoned simply with a pinch of garlic powder and Tabasco.
Next up is the cut. I like to cut the eggs across the middle. It makes them easier to fill and easier to stand up. You might have to cut a sliver off the bottom to steady them, but they never slip ‘n slide like they do when you cut them longways.
The filling is easy enough to mix together—just use a fork to mix to make sure everything is smooth and well combined. I do this off and on for about 5 minutes to get all the little bits smooth.
I have a friend who passes the egg yolks through a sieve before adding the other ingredients to make sure that there are no chunks or lumps in the mixture. If you are a perfectionist, you can do this too, but I just use a fork. And, don’t worry if there are bits of the yolk stuck to the whites, you will be covering this up when you fill the eggs.
Finally, you are ready to fill your eggs. You can fill them with a small spoon, pastry bag and tip, or a resealable plastic bag.
For me, using a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag to fill the eggs is quicker and I think they look a bit smoother. If you use a pastry bag and a decorating tip, you can also make them look swirly and fancy like cake icing.
Getting the filling into a pastry bag or a plastic bag can be messy and if you aren’t careful, you can get it all over the bag—wasting the filling and making twisting it a mess.
I fold the bag over and in this case I am using a quart freezer bag because I only have about 1 cup of filling. Using a rubber spatula, I take a generous scoop and “plop” it into the center of the coffee cup. Then I hold the cup by the handle and jiggle it lightly to make the egg filling slide to the bottom. I repeated this procedure three times until the bowl was empty and the filling was all in the bottom of the bag. I removed the bag, twisted it until all the filling was concentrated on one side, cut the point and Viola! a homemade pastry bag.
STRAIGHT-UP DEVILED EGGS
These deviled eggs are a great appetizer or snack. Make them for your Easter meal and all summer long—I especially love tucking them into a beach picnic basket. No matter when or how you serve them, let them come to a cool room temperature before serving, otherwise the filling will be a little hard instead of creamy.
Makes 24 deviled eggs
1 dozen large eggs
1/3 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
¼ cup strong Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of garlic powder
2-4 shakes Tabasco
Sea salt to taste
Smoked Paprika or minced fresh chives for garnish
- Place the eggs in a large heavy-duty pot of boiling water. Keep the flame on high and let the eggs boil for 12-14 minutes depending on how large they are. If you add an extra test egg, you can peel and cut one at 12 minutes to see if you like the degree of hard-boiled. Place eggs into a bowl of ice water when done.
- Peel eggs carefully, keeping whites in tact. One by one, crack and peel under running room-temperature water until all eggs are peeled.
- Cut in half cross-wise and remove yolks. Set whites aside on a platter or egg plate.
- Break yolks up and mash with a fork until all large pieces are broken up and smooth. If you want to make sure that there are no lumps, you can push the yolks through a fine sieve.
- Add mayonnaise, mustard, butter, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder and Tabasco. Stir well. Taste and season with a pinch of sea salt. All of the mix-ins are salty, so you won’t need to add much salt.
- Place egg-yolk mixture in a pastry bag or use a small spoon to fill egg white “boats” with “deviled” egg mixture.