Easter Egg Cooking and Dyeing Tips and Tricks
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
All this week I will be posting recipes suitable for the Easter holiday with a group of food blogging friends. There may be some in there suitable for Passover and Ostara as well. For my first shared recipe, I wanted to share the basic recipe for boiling eggs suitable for dyeing.
It is traditional for families of more than one faith to dye eggs this time of year, be it for the Christian Easter holiday, or the older Roman and pagan holidays celebrating rebirth. No matter what you believe in, rebirth is what it’s all about, with the Mother Earth rising from her slumber to a warm and sunny Spring. I imagine in early days, just surviving the winter was a feat, and having children to carry on the generations immensely important. So goes our fascination with Spring: green grass, eggs for rebirth, rabbits who “multiply” quickly and other such things which generally celebrate life.
And as I mentioned, this recipe is suitable for dyeing eggs, as it really does cut down on the number of cracks in the eggs themselves (I didn’t have a single crack, the entire batch). But still, it is not my usual method, which may be more accurate but also may get the odd crack here or there, as I like to cold water start to a boil, then boil ten minutes, then drain under cold water until the water stays cold. And let the eggs cool.
But. I do mind cracks in eggs for dyeing, so this is the method I like for Easter, bringing to a boil, then removing from heat and letting sit in the hot water for 15 minutes covered, then do the drain.
Another thing I like to do with eggs is add a bit of vinegar to help prepare the eggs for the dye (they have better color with the vinegar in the water) and also vinegar in the dye water. I don’t add vinegar to the cooking water of eggs I make for salads and the like. But I do like cooking eggs in a graniteware or enamelware pan as they are nonreactive to the vinegar. Being an acid, vinegar can react with pans that are aluminum or cast iron. Stainless seems to do fine, but my deeper pots are enamelware and graniteware anyway.
You might wonder if the eggs are easier to peel. Mine generally peel fine with the following rules: they do best if they are not fresh straightaway from the market. If buying for Easter I like to get them about a week ahead, so if you haven’t bought your eggs yet, do buy them now. Really fresh eggs are great for poached and fried, as the white stays together. As they age, day by day, the white breaks down and becomes more watery, which also means it sticks less to the shell.
Of course if you buy from a farm, you may not be quite sure how old they are, but there is an easy test. When you place the eggs in the pot, cover them with an inch or more of water.Really fresh eggs will lay on the bottom as if they are a rock, or like they are dead. Older eggs perfect for peeling will wake up a little bit, rising just a tad. The “true” dead egg will lift completely off the bottom. Those eggs are ready to go bye, so just toss them into the trash and don’t use them. Hopefully you won’t have one like that but every so often, it does, and it seems like the farm eggs have more of those. Not that farm eggs are bad, but remember, you were holding these eggs for 7 days, right?
After you finish dyeing your eggs, pat them completely dry and refrigerate. They should not be out in the open more than any other kind of cooked food. And I have had the discussion about how they were okay under the hen. But you just don’t know, if there is a tiny hairline crack in there, and it just sits out, you don’t really need or want that kind of food poisoning. So keep them cold! Let it warm up just before eating if you don’t like them chilly, and don’t go hiding them in the garden and lawn way early either.
I do like to cook my eggs in a single layer in the pan, this is because of the bumping around that causes cracks. Fit them in without forcing them as well. But don’t leave lots of room around them and don’t stack them.
If you are looking for decorating tips, some of them include using masking tape to cover part of the egg while dyeing. Others include using school-supply stickers such as stars or page reinforcement rings. You can use rubber bands to help mask colors while you overdye. Other fun things to do are to use egg white to attach bits of leaves or flowers, let dry, then overdye and peel those off. You can spatter paint for a speckled egg look, or mask the egg with crayons. You can also try finger painting the eggs, or applying glitter with glue. My mom was the queen of the plaid egg, as she would hold each side in the dye and overlap until she got the look she liked. I am very simple about it and just like them colorful. How do you like your eggs? Do you have any tips to share? Add them below in the comments section.
Join me tomorrow as I continue with my Easter Week postings with a recipe for Italian Easter bread (the one with the eggs tucked in) for both #EasterRecipes and #BreadBakers as a combined effort. We don’t stand on protocol here. We just like to share in as many places as we can! (It’s what bloggers do best: share!)
Again, have a blessed week! ~Sue
Dyed Easter Eggs
- 18 large eggs, 7-10 days old
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
Dyes (per cup):
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- food coloring, as per chart below
- Yellow: 20 drops yellow food color
- Yellow-Orange: 19 drops yellow, 1 drop red food coloring
- Orange: 17 drops yellow, 3 drops red food coloring
- Pink-Orange & Red-Orange: 6 drops red, 14 drops yellow food coloring
- Pink & Red: 20 drops red food coloring
- Pink Violet & Red-Violet: 10 drops blue, 10 drops red food coloring
- Violet: 15 drops blue, 5 drops red food coloring
- Blue-Violet: 18 drops blue, 2 drops red food coloring
- Blue: 20 drops blue food coloring
- Blue-Green: 6 drops blue, 14 drops green food coloring
- Green: 20 drops green food coloring
- Yellow-Green: 15 drops yellow, 5 drops green food coloring
- Place eggs in a single layer in a nonreactive large pot, such as a Dutch oven.
- Cover with cold water by at least one inch.
- Bring water to a boil, then cover pan and remove from heat.
- Allow to rest undisturbed for 15 minutes, then drain hot water and cover with cold water.
- When eggs are cool, dry off and begin preparing dyes.
- For each dye cup, add one cup very hot water with one teaspoon of vinegar and stir with drops of food coloring listed for each desired color.
- Submerge eggs in dye until desired color depth is reached, then drain and pat dry.
- Store eggs in refrigerator until needed. Eggs do need to be refrigerated, especially in case of cracks.
- Use eggs within 5-7 days, using cracked eggs within 1-2 days.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
This week, thirteen bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we’re serving up!
- Deviled Ham Bites by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- 30 Minute Dinner Rolls by Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Easy Pecan Sticky Buns by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
- Easy Citrus Ham by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Sausage and Vegetable Strata by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus With Lemon Herb Sauce by Tip Garden
- Dipped Strawberry Carrots by Family Around The Table
- Easter Malted Milk Dip by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Sharadan’s Lemon Blueberry Parfaits by Cooking With Carlee
- Easter Egg Cooking and Dyeing Tips and Tricks by Palatable Pastime