|Pickled Quail Eggs with Beets|
The term pickle is derived from the Dutch word 'pekel', meaning brine. In the U.S. and Canada the word pickle alone almost always refers to a pickled cucumber. But today I wanted to talk about pickling eggs, which they do in the Southern regions of the U.S. as well as in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where they are often prepared with jalapeño peppers. My focus however, is in pickling the eggs with beets as do the inhabitants of the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. As my family resides near this area in Ohio, having pickled beet eggs (also sometimes called red beet eggs) was common each Spring. This delicacy includes beets in the pickling solution to impart a pinkish red color to the eggs.
Pickled Beet Eggs
|Canned Pickled Eggs|
Pickled Beets and Eggs
10 fresh beets (or 6 cans beets, whole or sliced)
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vinegar
4 cinnamon sticks
12 medium chicken eggs
(for quail eggs, half the recipe above and double the number of eggs)
To cook fresh beets:
For tender, freshly picked medium sized beets - wash, rinse and drain until all traces of garden soil are removed. Use a small vegetable brush if needed. Cut off leaves and stems, leaving about 1 inch of the root end.
Place beets in large heavy pan and cover with water. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving all of the beet water. Once cooked and cool, you can peel them; the skin of a cooked beet will slip right off. However, it's wise to use a paper towel or wear gloves to keep the beet juice from staining your hands. If the beets are large, cut them into smaller pieces or slice them.
To prepare hard-cooked eggs:
To correctly cook the eggs, place them in a single layer in a pan with enough cold water to cover them completely. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, remove from heat when you are at a full boil, cover with a lid, and allow to remain in the water approximately 8-10 minutes. Overcooking eggs makes the yolks turn green. Then place under running, cold water to cool quickly and stop the cooking; peel.
To make pickled beets and eggs:
Place hard-cooked eggs into a container with a lid. Add the cooked beets on top of the eggs. Place the reserved beet liquid (or canned beet liquid) in a saucepan. Add sugar, vinegar and cinnamon sticks to reserved liquid. Heat to boiling stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Take care that the mixture does not boil over. Pour hot liquid over beets and eggs; cool. Cover and refrigerate. Jossel container or use a spoon to ensure eggs are evenly dyed with beet juice. After about one week you can eat them, although two weeks is better.