This is the time of year where chickens are producing eggs in abundance and the beets are ready for harvest. When I get inundated in both categories, I make a gallon of pickled eggs and beets…here are a few helpful tips for the process and my favorite recipe.
Eggs: I usually let mine age for a week or so because fresh eggs don’t peel nicely. I always used my beat up eggs with beets and my “good” eggs for deviled eggs. A friend mentioned that she heard that you should not use broken or cracked eggs as pickled eggs…I was pondering this and realized that I often have an egg break in the beet juice and it makes a nasty sludge in my beets. Probably why you shouldn’t use the beat up ones…maybe a contamination issue and definitely not pretty.
Beets: My recipe is scaled to use a 15 ounce can of store bought beets. I don’t normally buy canned beets but have found that the scale works well by using a pint of my canned beets or fresh beets. If you have never cooked fresh beets, here’s how to start. Choose beets of similar size so that they will all get done about the same time. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Small beets take about ½ an hour and larger beets longer. Test for readiness by fishing one out after ½ an hour. The skin should slide EASILY off the beet with no real effort on your part…if it doesn’t, give them a few more minutes. Sometimes when they are close, I just turn the fire off and let them sit in the boiling water for an extra ½ hour. When you are ready to peel them, just pour off the hot water and put them in a sink full of cold water and slide the skins off. It’s actually kind of fun. 🙂
My Recipe: I usually quadruple and make a gallon at a time
For each pint or 15 ounce can (save the liquid)
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt
(note some folks use a cinnamon stick…we have allergy issues and don’t use cinnamon)
After you heat the ingredients to boiling, carefully add the beets and bring back to a boil. Place eggs in a clean jar and spoon beets over top (or layer if you don’t want to fish to the bottom for the eggs). Pour the hot liquid over the beets/eggs…if they are not covered, add a bit of the reserved beet juice. If you are using fresh beets and come up a bit short, just swish some vinegar in the hot pan (to get any stray spices) and top of your jar with that. They will keep in the fridge for weeks.