Pretty in Pink: Deviled Eggs

April 9, 2017

Spring at last. Which means the chickens are beginning to lay eggs again.  Which means it’s deviled egg season.

Before you begin, a little digression on hard-boiling eggs.

When eggs are new, the membrane beneath the shell sticks tightly to its shell, making peeling them a serious challenge. As eggs age, the protective coating on the shell becomes porous and begins to absorb air making the whites less acetic. (This is why the whites of freshly laid eggs are cloudy; as they absorb air they lose some of the carbon dioxide in the albumen, the ph rises, and the whites become clearer.)

But while the egg whites are losing their acidity, they are also getting thinner, meaning that the yolk is moving farther from the center. So if you’re intent on perfect deviled eggs, begin with organic, new-laid eggs but put them in the refrigerator for a week and store them on their sides.

Bring the eggs to room temperature before cooking. This will prevent cracking.


Put your eggs in a pot that will hold them in a single layer, so that they cook evenly. Cover them with cold water and raise it quickly just to a boil.  Cover the pot, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes.

Chill the eggs, immediately, in a bowl of ice water.  This will prevent the dread green circle around the outside of the yolk, which occurs because the iron in the yolk reacts with the sulfur in the white when the temperature of the egg reaches 158° F.  Although perfectly harmless, it lends your deviled eggs a slightly ghoulish air.

If you don’t want to wait a week, steam your eggs.  It’s easy. Put them in a steamer (or a colander over a big pot), and steam them for twenty minutes. Plunk them into an ice water bath until they’re cool enough to handle. Roll on the counter.  The shells will peel right off.


Pink Deviled Eggs

Shopping list: 1 jar pickled beets, Sriracha sauce, sweet pickle.

Staples: 1 dozen eggs, mustard, mayonnaise, salt pepper,

Makes 1 dozen.

Once your eggs are cooked and peeled, put the whole eggs into a bowl with the juice from a can of pickled beets; add a bit of water if the eggs aren’t completely covered.

Before long the eggs will begin to turn a vibrant shade of pink. Leave them in the refrigerator overnight, and the whites will be the most beautiful color, a dazzling contrast to the marigold color of the yolks. (Leave them in the beet juice for more than 18 hours, however, and the yolks will turn pink as well.)

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, then slice a  bit off the bottom of the white of each half so they won’t wobble on the plate.  It make them considerably easier to fill.

Remove the yolks and mash with  mayonnaise, a bit of mustard, and salt and pepper.  Add a splash of Sriracha for heat.  If you want truly etherial tenderness, whip the filling in a food processor; it will make it smoother.  Then pile the deviled yolks back into the pink shells. (A pastry tube makes this easier.) At the end, just for color, top each one with a little triangle of sweet pickle or a bit of sliced chile pepper. 

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  • Allison D B Liebowitz says:

    Ruth –
    This is literally the best deviled eggs recipe I have EVER read. Not only is it good in the food/recipe department, but you explain concisely and perfectly each of the issues that tend to … bedevil 😉 … deviled eggs. Fabulous. Pdf printed and right into the Recipes file.

  • JoDee says:

    Pink eggs how fun! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  • JoDee says:

    Pink eggs how fun! I can’t wait to try this recipe.s

  • Kathleen Schneck says:

    I love deviled eggs and can’t wait to try the pink look. Sometimes I add a finely chopped shallot to the yolk mixture with capers too.

  • Mary Wood says:

    I love the look of these eggs, but I have people in my house who have STRONG opinions, i.e., hatred of beets. Does the beet juice soak impart any discernible beet flavor?

    I made the spicy noodles from Plums last night, and it was a big ol’ hit. Thank you!! We’re also going to try the Thanksgiving chili soon, even though it’s practically June.