Pickled eggs are a highly favored special treat around here and I’ve known people to go to extremes to buy gallons of pickled polish sausage just so they’d have the juice to pickle eggs in. While there is nothing wrong with pickling eggs that way, and they are tasty, I’ve never understood why people don’t just make their own. It is really quite simple to do and the hardest part is to keep your mitts out of them for the week that they take to pickle.
The following recipe was thought up a few decades ago because it is quite similar to a few other pickled food recipes I have. I do change a few things, depending on what is being pickled, but most pickle recipes have the same basis.
This recipe is for two dozen (24) hard boiled eggs and it uses a gallon jar, but it is simple to double the recipe or cut the recipe by half because the measures are standard sizes. It is simple to figure out what amount would go in a double batch or a half batch.
It isn’t specified, but this recipe uses chicken eggs. For an even more special treat, try duck or turkey eggs. If you use the latter, though, beware that a turkey egg is twice the size of a large chicken egg. Duck eggs aren’t much smaller than turkey eggs.
Pickled Egg Ingredients:
- 2 dozen hard-boiled eggs, shelled
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 can ‘shoestring’ beets, not drained
- 2 cups white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 or 3 whole bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves, whole or powdered
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)
Pickled Egg Instructions:
1. Put the hard boiled eggs in a gallon jar and let the jar and eggs warm to room temperature. You will be pouring hot fluid into the jar and if it is glass and is cold, it can shatter.
2. In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients and heat to a boil, cooking for 5 minutes. Pour this hot mixture over the top of the eggs, cap the jar and allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. The eggs are done in about a week, but the longer they are in the juice, the better they taste. If the eggs aren’t covered with juice, add a little more water.
I prefer spicy pickled eggs because hard boiled eggs tend to be bland. However, the jalapeno peppers are optional. They can be omitted or doubled, depending on how much you like spicy food. Other hot peppers can be used, too, either in addition to or instead of the jalapenos. The batch I have going right now uses dragon cayenne peppers that we grew this year.
As a tip, if you use a toothpick to barely puncture the egg whites in a few places, the pickling brine can more easily soak into the egg.
The beets and beet juice add color, primarily, so when they are done, the egg whites should have a decidedly pink tint.
After a week, these eggs are marvelous tasting and they are a wonderful pink color. Our daughter is a picky eater, but I have trouble keeping enough of these going so I can at least have one once in a while. She’ll eat all that I make up. Still, they are easy enough to make and it is just hard to wait for them to get ready to eat.
This article was inspired by a good friend, Andria Perry, and an excellent recipe she has for pickled eggs. My special thanks to her.