Spring is in full-swing here in Portland! The first daffodils popped their little heads out of the ground and bloomed this past week, and all my other bulbs are peeking their heads out too, waiting for enough sunshine to bloom. The clematis vine on the railing outside the house is heavy with SUPER fragrant white flowers that smell like jasmine, and it makes me so so so happy every time I leave and enter the house. And last but not least, the chickens are laying up a storm due to the longer days and warmer weather.
With the abundance of extra eggs on hand, I wanted to try making some salt cured egg yolks. I’ve seen them floating around the internet over the past year, and Tournant used some as a garnish at one of our Secret Suppers, so I wanted to give it a go myself. A salt cured egg yolk is like a little hockey puck of a yolk, it’s firm enough so that you can grate it on things, which is the way it’s always used. Cured egg yolks add an umami, cheese-like flavor to dishes, much like grated parmesan cheese. And the best part is that the carbon footprint of making a cured yolk is much less than making parmesan, especially if you use eggs from the farmer’s market.
To make it, you basically mix equal parts sugar and salt, spread half of the mixture in a Tupperware container, make little wells in it, transfer the yolks into the wells, cover them with the rest of the mixture, then seal the container and refrigerate it for nearly a week. After that you just rinse off the salt and then bake them at a very low temperature in the oven to dry them out completely. For this recipe, I ended up making the yolks three ways—one batch of plain salt cured egg yolks, one with some peppercorns mixed in, and one with some red chili flakes mixed in. You can make a big batch like the recipe calls for, or you can cut it in half or down by 2/3 to make smaller amounts. It’s totally your call! I ended up keeping about 3 of the finished ones in the frig, then I wrapped each of the remaining cured egg yolks in plastic wrap, then put them in a Tupperware container and froze them, so that way I can just take them out one at a time going forward and have enough to last me the rest of the year.
BUT! Before I dive into the recipe, I have a BUNCH of news I’ve been meaning to share but keep forgetting to, so here it is!!!
- I have an awesome gift for you pre-ordering my cookbook First We Eat! You get FREE Jacobsen Sea Salt + a Cermer Ceramic Salt Cellar, just sign up here or in the form in the sidebar by 3/20!
- I’m hosting an instagram LIVE on 4/1 at 10 am PST, so mark your calendars!! It’s all Q&A, and you can submit your question here! Ask me anything!! 😆
- I made a super useful guide on How to Shoot a Blog Post, complete with a shot list, why I shoot each shot, and the lenses I typically use for each one. You can grab it here! Yay!!!
- I also made a spread of the 5 Apps I Use Everyday, with some really amazing apps that have been super helpful to me as a photographer, small business-owner, and a creative lady. You can grab that one here, too!
- If you like the way the photos in this post look, you can grab my Lightroom Presets to process your photos the same way! And I’ve also broken up my online course into smaller lessons, so you can learn about editing in Adobe Lightroom, too.
- And most of the ceramics here are from a local Portland ceramicist, Notary Ceramics, and her work is absolutely gorgeous! She ships everywhere, so definitely check her out + support a small talented maker <3
Okay I think that’s everything, whew!! Wishing you guys a wonderful start of spring, and talk to you again soon with a tasty spring-centric recipe!
Salt Cured Egg Yolks
Yield 18 cured egg yolks
For this recipe, I ended up making the yolks three ways—one batch of plain salt cured egg yolks, one with some peppercorns mixed in, and one with some red chili flakes mixed in. You can make a big batch like the recipe calls for, or you can cut it in half or down by 2/3 to make smaller amounts. It's totally your call! I ended up keeping about 3 of the finished ones in the frig, then I wrapped each of the remaining cured egg yolks in plastic wrap, then put them in a Tupperware container and froze them, so that way I can just take them out one at a time going forward and have enough to last me the rest of the year. They will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- 1 1/2 pounds flake kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
- 16 eggs
- In a large bowl, mix together the salt and sugar. Evenly distribute it between 3 medium bowls. Stir the red pepper flakes into one bowl, and the peppercorns into the other, leaving the third bowl plain with just the sugar and salt mixture.
- Evenly spread out half of the salt mixtures on the bottom of a 14 x 9-inch rectangular casserole pan, covering one third of the pan in half the red pepper flake salt, the middle third in half the peppercorn salt, and the remaining third of the pan in the plain salt.
- Use the back of a spoon to make 16 evenly-spaced wells (leaving about 2 inches between them).
- Going one egg at a time, separate the yolk from the white and gently place the yolk in a well. Repeat until all the wells are filled. Refrigerate the egg whites and use them later for another purpose (meringue, souffle, etc.)
- Gently begin to cover the yolks in the remaining salt mixture, making sure you cover the yolks in the red pepper flake area of the pan with the red pepper flake salt mixture, etc. It's best to use to a spoon to gently start filling in the gaps between the yolks so that they're supported from the side, and then to cover with salt on top. This will help keep them from bursting under the weight of the salt mixture.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Allow to cure in the refrigerator for 6 to 7 days.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven does not go this low but you have a gas range, you can follow the below directions but just leave the pan in the oven for 1 to 2 days to dry out via the heat from the pilot light.
- Remove the yolks from the pan and gently rinse each one to remove the excess salt and then pat dry with a paper towel before placing on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- When all the yolks are on the baking sheet, place it in the oven and allow the egg yolks to dry/bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours, or until they're relatively firm with a very slight give when you squeeze them, like the texture of gouda or aged cheddar cheese.
- Remove them from the oven and pat them with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture or oil, if they leaked anything when baking. You can follow the storage instructions in the recipe description to freeze them, or keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.