Monday, August 29, 2016

Perfect Hard Boiled FRESH Eggs

For those of you who love to buy farm fresh eggs AND want the perfect hard boiled eggs  - read on. If you use store bought eggs, or just don't care to ever make hard boiled eggs, I will save you the trouble. Stop now. Come back for a different post.

I have read all kinds of tips and tricks on how to get the perfect hard boiled eggs using fresh eggs. Because, you know, I have a ton of eggs from our lovely chickens. Most sources have come to the conclusion it just wasn't possible. BUT, thanks to a wonderful friend - I have the solution! Well, she has the solution and shared it with me. AND, gave permission for me to share with you!

This fabulous, amazing, wonderful friend did a TON of experimenting over several months. And wrote everything down. Thanks to her, we don't have to continue on our search for the perfect hard boiled egg using farm fresh eggs.

I was shocked at how easy it is. No special ingredients needed.

Are you ready? It's so simple, you are going to go make some immediately.

The trick? Bring the water to a rolling boil first. Yes, BEFORE you put eggs into the water.

Put eggs into the boiling water. I use a slatted metal scoop 'thingy' I have. One of those tools that come in handy but I have no idea where it came from or what it is called. Please, don't let your hands touch the boiling water. It will hurt.

Set your timer for 15 minutes. I turn the water down to a med/high temp to keep a rolling boil going but preventing the dreaded boil over.

Once the timer dings, carefully drain the boiling water out and add cold water. Dump the cold water and add a second round of cold water. This will help stop the cooking process and make the eggs cool enough to handle.

Then, peel away! Perfect smooth eggs every time.

Now, go make some deviled eggs, egg salad, potato salad, or whatever your heart's desire.

Until next time...

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is my husband's all time favorite dessert. I never liked it.  Maybe I didn't try it enough or only had less than good pies? I don't know. BUT, I wanted to learn to make them so I could do something special for my hubby.

The first pecan pie I made was a complete fail. He ate it, but it probably should have gone in the trash. He is such a good sport. I don't have any idea what I did wrong, but it was wrong. It took a while before I was able to summons up enough courage to try again. Pecans are an expensive mistake. In general, each pie recipe after that first one has been easy and turned out; but all were a bit off in flavor or texture than what my husband was looking for. So, I kept trying.

I soon discovered that all recipes were essentially the same. Liquid sugar, eggs, butter, salt, and pecans. Those that boasted better or deeper flavors tended to use different types of sugars. I also didn't like the idea of all the sugar being corn syrup.

My latest attempt was a success! It is a bit of combination between several recipes plus a happy mistake. So, I figured I had better write it down in a place I will be able to find it again. I happened to have a local dark honey on hand so I used that. Other recipes called for white and/or brown sugar, so I tried using some brown sugar. Recipes called for 1-3 eggs. I used four - because I wasn't paying attention (the happy mistake). Some called for vanilla, some didn't. I decided it might be a nice addition. I also used the highest amount of butter I observed across recipes - because, well, yum. I was a bit worried I would have too much liquid with all of this and the pie wouldn't set. But it did. Yeah! Caution, I use our own farm eggs, which tend to be creamier than store bought eggs. I don't know if using store bought eggs would make any difference, but it might. And last, I love to use cast iron when I can, so I do all my pies in a large cast iron skillet.

The result is a good sink you teeth into pie. The consistency is perfectly gooey without any dry crust on top (one of the previous recipes had a flaky top, this does not).   I like the flavor and depth the dark honey gives the pie. Of course, that will very based on the honey you have.

Pecan Pie

3/4 c dark honey
3/4 c corn syrup
3/4 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1/4 c melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups pecans
2 pie crusts

About the crusts - I have a 12" cast iron skillet. I need 2 crusts in order to cover the skillet. If you have a smaller skillet, you can get away with just one. For now, I used store bought crusts as I have not worked at making any from scratch. Maybe that will be my next adventure??

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Line cast iron skillet with pie crusts.
Sprinkle crusts with about half of the pecans.
Wisk all other ingredients in a bowl until combined.
Pour filling into crust.
Bake pie approximately 30 minutes or until center is set.