For lovers of beets, brines, and fermented foods, we have a Pennsylvania Dutch classic that will color your perspective on eggs. Now, a good hard-boiled egg can stand on its own, but when beets share some love with them, all sorts of things happen. It’s like seeing a “purrrdy” purple cosmic egg. Whoa! Once you slice them open, there’s a color contrast that reminds you of a sunset. The beets not only give the eggs a cool color, but help create a tangy, sour-sweet flavor. Folks who grew up eating these say they’re a staple at cookouts and potlucks. These can most certainly be eaten whenever or however you’d like, but would definitely be a fun idea for Easter or Halloween celebrations!
In some families, the recipe for pickled beet eggs is passed down through generations, some with secret ingredients. For this version, the cloves bump up the flavor a bit but some pickled beet egg mix-masters have been known to add cinnamon, garlic, pickling spice, or even jalapeños to their brine. Try this variation from America’s Test Kitchen or feel free to experiment with your own herb-and-spice additions.
PICKLED BEET EGGS
Makes 2 dozen eggs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ready: 3 days
- Canning jars that can hold 2 dozen eggs
If you are well-versed in canning and preserving foods, then you may already have these jars on hand. For newbies, you can purchase sterilized mason jars in either pint, quart, or gallon sizes at your local grocery store or super center. You can also find them at some large arts and crafts retail stores. As the chef notes, you can divide the eggs up into multiple jars. Be sure to wash them out first before using.
- 2 dozen peeled and chilled hard-boiled eggs
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 – 16-ounce jars of pickled beets in their juice
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- In a medium saucepan, combine the onion, beets, vinegar, sugar, cloves and salt.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- After all the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat.
- Let the pan cool completely to room temperature. This is vital!
- While mixture is cooling, place the eggs in the canning jars one by one.
- After the beet mixture has cooled completely, pour it over the eggs.
- Seal the jars and place them in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.
Be sure to shake them gently every few days to make sure they all get coated with the beet juice. The longer you let the eggs sit in the brine, the deeper the purple color will saturate the egg. With refrigeration, the eggs last up to a week. What should you do with the beets after the eggs have pickled? Some like to eat the beet mixture as is like a salad, while others use it for a garnish on foods like sandwiches or French bread. Fun fact: These eggs are a common bar snack in central Pennsylvania and other parts of the state where Dutch and Amish traditions live on. Tell us what you think about this recipe in the comments!