LBLF Deviled Eggs: The great baked vs. boiled egg experiment
Has anyone else heard about this baked “hard-boiled” egg business? Yea, baked. In an oven.
I think it was on Pinterest that I first heard about this new (to me) phenomenon. Then I saw it again on the Kitch’n, which is one of my favorite go-to food blogs. Finally it occurred to me, that the universe was telling me to do some experimenting. Luckily I had three family members ready to help test.
I’m not typically a hard-boiled egg fan, but when it comes to deviled eggs? You can’t tear me away. Probably because they remind me of my Nana, who always made them for the holidays. They taste like nostalgia and love, as any nana’s food should.
For the deviled eggs I made them the exact same way, just changed the cooking method (for an even comparison): 6 boiled the Cooks Illustrated way, and 6 using the baked instructions of the Kitch’n. The traditional hard-boiled version, in a nutshell, calls for pouring an inch of water above the eggs, bringing them to a boil, setting aside for ten minutes, then dunking them in an ice bath. The baked version calls for preheating the oven to 325, placing eggs directly on the rack, baking for 30 minutes, then dunking in an ice bath. Both versions are easy enough right? I’ll start with the baked.
I found that making the baked eggs was slightly less high maintenance than the boiled eggs. It really couldn’t be easier to place eggs on an oven rack. Another fun quirk of the baked eggs is that some of them ended up with a divot on one end, giving them the appearance of horns when cut, which for deviled eggs is kiiiind of perfect. The eggs were also a bit easier to peel, which is pretty awesome. The color of the eggs was interesting: the shell had dark speckles and the whites were almost a caramel color in some places (on the outside at least). The down-side was that we all found them a bit chewier than the boiled version. Plus the yolks had some of that dark tinge that isn’t so attractive.
The traditional hard-boiled version was creamier, and therefore a much more pleasant texture. They were tougher to peel but they made up for it with perfectly yellow yolks and absolutely no off coloring at all. Overall, I think If I were going to make more than a dozen eggs, like for a big party, I would absolutely use the baked version. Though I think I would tinker with the temperature and timing because they seemed a bit over-cooked. For smaller batches there is no doubt that I would use the boiled version.
In terms of a recipe? The world is your oyster, but this is my favorite go-to deviled egg recipe:
LBLF Deviled Eggs
One dozen eggs (hard-boiled or baked, you choose)
1/2 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise (home-made is ideal or store-bought is fine)
A few decent splashes of dill pickle juice
A few dashes of salt and fresh cracked pepper
Sprinkling of smoked paprika
1 dill pickle cut into wedges for a garnish (as pictured)
Start with your cooked eggs, whichever way you like. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. The easiest way I found to get the yolks out is to flip an egg half upside down and gently apply pressure to the top and sides of the egg, turning slightly, but not allowing the whites to break. With a fork, combine all ingredients except the paprika and pickle wedges, until smooth. For the pickle juice, add enough until you find the desired consistency. To a Ziploc or other plastic sandwich style bag, add your filling with a spoon or spatula. Cut a quarter inch or less hole in a corner of the bag and fill the egg halves with the mixture by squeezing the mixture from your bag, piping like a thick icing. Sprinkle the smoked paprika over top the eggs and add the pickle.
Voila, beautiful and tasty deviled eggs. What I love about this recipe is that the Dijon and pickle juice add a lovely zing, the pickle garnish a great crunch, and the smoked paprika a nice smoky sweet finish. They’re traditional, but just different enough. The beauty of deviled eggs is you can make them so many different ways. For goodness sakes, add just a little spicy Sriracha and you really couldn’t go wrong.
Instead of beer with these lovelies we drank a nice Carmenere-Cabernet blend. But if I were drinking beer, I would probably choose a nice spicy saison or a Belgian tripel. Hm, yes.
Enjoy my friends!