Any time I’ve ever made deviled eggs, I’ve basically spooned a gloppy mayo-yolk mixture into floppy egg whites and masked the ugliness with either smoked paprika (see here) or weird garnishes (see my Deviled Eggs Three Ways). The problem was always that filling: never stiff enough to pipe, always wet enough to spoon. This time around, I decided to change my game by deferring to a master chef’s technique; that would be April Bloomfield’s.
I promised not to blog any more recipes from her book because I’ve already over-blogged it, so I found her recipe online here which makes it OK (it’s already online, see). Also I changed it up a little, but we’ll get to that in a second.
There’s so much I love about this recipe, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s begin with boiling the eggs. Bloomfield’s technique is the best I’ve ever encountered. Most have you bring the eggs up with the water, you put them in cold, turn up the heat, when it gets to a boil you turn off the heat, cover, and wait 11 minutes. That always makes for inconsistently cooked eggs.
Bloomfield has you bring the water to a boil first, then you lower in the eggs and cook them for 10 minutes. You take ’em out and shock them in ice water and you’re done. These eggs are perfect:
Look at that bright yellow yolk:
You slice all those eggs in half and press the yolks through a sieve.
Look at how pretty it gets.
Now things get a little cheffy: you make your own mayo. Really, this is no big deal. Put some egg yolks in a bowl, whisk them with a little vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and then very gradually whisk in oil. If you go slow, you’ll have a thick, delicious homemade mayo in a matter of minutes.
Now you add some of that to the egg yolks along with creme fraiche and mustard. I also added a splash of my chile pickling liquid for a little heat:
Mix it up.
And here’s the key step: refrigeration. Put a piping tip in the corner of a freezer bag and cut off that little corner so the tip can slide through. Then fill the bag with that mixture, directing all of it towards the tip. Now refrigerate that and the egg whites for a few hours until you’re ready to pipe.
That time in the fridge firms things up even more (remember my gloppy filling problem?) so when it’s time to pipe, it’s a cinch. See?
It’s as simple as holding the tip on the egg white divet, squeezing and lifting. You get pretty flowers everywhere.
To finish, I drizzled everything with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, chives and some of those pickled chiles all chopped up. What a fiesta!
These are the best deviled eggs I’ve ever made, no question. My only mistake was over-describing them to my guests when I served them up: “Then I made the mayo from scratch…then I used these chiles that I pickled….” Craig called it a Portlandia moment. But these Deviled Eggs deserve to have their praises sung, they’re that good.
Recipe: Perfect Deviled Eggs
Summary: Based on April Bloomfield’s recipe.
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard for mayo + 1 teaspoon for the egg filling
- 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
- Slightly more than 1/2 cup vegetable oil (she recommends peanut or sunflower, but vegetable works fine)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon chile pickling liquid or champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- Chopped pickled chiles OR a sprinkling of paprika OR cayenne
- Start by making the mayo. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the Dijon, the vinegar and salt for about a minute until foamy and pale. Then, very gradually–in a super thin stream–whisk in the oil. It’s worth stopping every now and then to frantically whisk to make sure the emulsion is forming. Keep whisking and adding oil until you have a nice, thick mayonnaise. Taste to adjust for salt and vinegar. This makes more than you need, but save the rest in the refrigerator for sandwiches, egg salad, etc.
- Now, to make the deviled eggs, bring a pot of water to boil, season it a little with salt, and carefully lower in the 6 eggs. Cook them for exactly 10 minutes then remove them to an ice bath.
- Peel the eggs (I did it under a faucet because it helps separate the shell), pat them dry and cut them in half vertically. Remove the yolks to a sieve and press them through into a bowl. Now add 3 Tablespoons of the mayo you made, 1 Tablespoon chile pickling liquid or vinegar, 1 teaspoon mustard and a pinch of salt and mix together with a rubber spatula, tasting for salt and vinegar. When delicious, cut a corner off a freezer bag, insert a piping tip, load in the filling and refrigerate along with the egg whites until it’s time to pipe.
- When you’re ready to pipe (a few hours later), place the piping tip at the center of each white and squeeze just a drop. You’ll have a pretty flower. Continue until you’ve used up all the filling. Now drizzle the deviled eggs with olive oil, sprinkle with chives and either the pickled chiles or paprika or cayenne. Serve ’em up cold.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4