I love pickled eggs so much. I was first introduced to them when I was young, by a friend whose mom pickled her own. I thought it was so romantic—going down to a basement and bringing up a bottle of home pickled eggs. For some reason it took me 10 years to try it myself. This summer, I found a small-scale, sugar-free recipe for pickled eggs in Putting It Up With Honey, gathered some eggs and...waited another two months.
I finally made my own pickled eggs this Fall and I took as many precautions as I could to avoid killing myself and my family with poorly pickled products.
I sterilized everything and bought pickling vinegar and salt.
I used mini eggs from my mom's friend because I read that smaller eggs are safer, as they are more easily penetrated by the preserving powers of the acidic vinegar.
Also, I always kept the finished product in the fridge, no matter how crowded it got.
My ideal was to be able to store my pickled eggs in my basement for months and months, like my friend's mom...but, in my research I found recipes generally didn't seal their jars in a hot water bath—they often recommended keeping the eggs refrigerated and consuming them within a month. Drat. I have a strong fear of botulism (my dad tries to tell me you can't get it from pickled eggs but I've done my research and a couple people have died of botulism-ed eggs. I think mostly due to inadequately cooked eggs—I think the botulism formed in a slightly uncooked yolk).
If anyone has any tried and true pickled egg recipes that don't need to be refrigerated, or a method for preparing any recipe for room temperature storage, I'd love to hear them. Does anyone else think of the Simpson's episode with the cockroach floating in the pickled eggs jar? Moe kept his at room temperature...
I somewhat followed the recipe from Putting It Up With Honey, but when it came to the pickling spice part...I was lazy. I improvised the amount for the spices, but here is the rough recipe.
(adapted from Putting It Up With Honey)
- 15-18 small eggs (about 30-35 grams each)
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar (or vinegar of choice, as long as it has an acidity appropriate for preserving—5% or higher)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp pickling salt
- 1-2 bay leaves, crumbled
- 1 four inch cinnamon stick, broken
- 2 slices of fresh ginger, peeled
- using only whole spices, a pinch of each (or to suit your tastes):
- black peppercorn
- cardamon pods
- cloves (these may stain your eggs a bit brown, so don't be alarmed)
- mustard seeds
1. Hard boil and peel your eggs.*
2. While your eggs are boiling, sterilize two 500ml mason jars and lids in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (I always sterilize an extra jar, just in case I need it). Leave them in the canner until you're ready to pack your eggs.
3. Combine vinegar, water and flavourings in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
4. Pack eggs into sterilized jars and cover with the boiling liquid (make sure there are no egg tops peeking out). Seal immediately and store in fridge. They will be ready in about a week, and supposedly only last month...though I'm writing this post over a month later, and just finished eating an egg (so far, not dead.)
*Hard boil the eggs any way you like, as long as they're cooked all the way through. I followed these instructions for the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg, with the times adapted for my egg size, and I highly recommend them—my whites weren't chewy, and my yolks were bright and creamy.
Fills about two 500ml mason jars