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Mom Aleta's pickled beets and eggs
From member Janine Lazur. This is the exact email she sent to one of her siblings.
Turns out I'm the first to request this recipe from Mom. In case anyone else is interested, after Mom talked me through it and I took notes, I user tested it and have the following to share:
As you may know, Mom tends to cook from memory and has basic ratios that allow her to scale things up or down depending on how many she was feeding. The key for pickled eggs is the sweet and sour brine. The ratio is 2:1:1 -- 2 water to 1 apple cider vinegar to 1 sugar -- but taste it and adjust as needed. Mom told me it should taste a little sharp and vinegary but not super sharp. The slightly sharp edge will go away as the vinegar is absorbed by the eggs and beets.
How much brine should you make? Enough to cover whatever you're pickling. Based on the container I was using, I figured I needed 2 cups of liquid to cover my 6 eggs, the beets and onions. That worked out well.
What follows are the measurements I ended up using. I had to add more vinegar because the original 2:1:1 mix didn't have the slightly sharp edge this needs -- perhaps my cider vinegar was on the milder side.
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
2 cups fresh red beets -- cooked then peeled and sliced (or cut into chunks). How you cook them is your call -- baked, roasted, boiled. No need to save the cooking liquid. The cooked beets will release lots of color once put into the brine. (or canned beets, sliced will work too to save time)
1/2 onion, sliced (golden mom ratio on this: 1 onion/dozen eggs)
For the brine:
1 1/3 c water
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
a generous sprinkle of pepper
Combine the water, cider vinegar, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and make any adjustments. Goal: a little bit sharp and vinegary tasting -- but not super sharp. Once you have the sweet and sour balance about right, add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the eggs, beets, and onions in the jar or container you'll be steeping them in. Pour in enough brine to cover them. Cover and refrigerate.
After 24-36 hours, they're pickled. Drain and discard the brine. Refrigerate the fruits of your labor.
Other notes from my conversation with Mom:
- The recipe also works for pickled beets. Just omit the eggs.
- She has left the brine on longer and after 4 days of soaking, the yolks will be deep pink too. This means the eggs are pickled through and through. They might keep longer this way but they won't be as attractive.