When I think of Easter foods, first to come to mind are ham, eggs and lemon … but not combined, of course :-)!
It makes sense that egg dishes are prevalent at Easter time, because the chickens are enjoying longer days and laying more eggs. Lemons are light and fresh and make excellent desserts that are a burst of sunshine after long winter months. We’ll have no less than 3 at this year’s Easter meal … lemon desserts, that is. For 13 people. That’s almost 1/4 dessert per person! But that’s another story…
These deviled eggs always make me think of my sister-in-law, Jane. Growing up we occasionally colored hard-boiled eggs at Easter, and sometimes we had deviled eggs, but it wasn’t until I met her that I realized you could combine the two!
Now, I’m not fond of added food dyes, but for the amount of these we eat on this one occasion, I’m ok with it. Besides, it makes me feel connected with Jane’s memory. She always made these eggs – up until her passing several years ago. Now I carry on with the tradition.
(In case you are wondering, these are NOT our chicken’s eggs. These were quite old eggs my mother-in-law had that needed to be used out. That’s why many have flat ends – they’re terribly old. But we did test them to make sure they didn’t float … the sign of a old egg).
There are two ways you can color the eggs. Both methods are done after the eggs have been hard-boiled and sometime before the yolk filling is added. If you want the interiors left white, color the eggs while they are peeled, but still whole. If you want more color to show, dye the eggs once they have been split in half and the yolks removed. In some ways, the latter looks more fun but it’s also messier. Because, you know, egg whites have little “spoons” to hold that food color! It just means you’re almost guaranteed to come away with colored fingers 🙂
Of course, you don’t HAVE to color the eggs – especially if you’re making them for another non-spring event. They’ll be delicious either way.
Now, about my recipe: I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise. Papa teases me that when we eat BLTs, I end up just waving my bread over the mayonnaise jar (not true, but I put extremely little on my bread). To lighten up the yolk mixture, I like to substitute yogurt for half the mayonnaise that most recipes use. We’ve never noticed the difference.
The filling mixture itself couldn’t be easier. The trickiest part is getting the yolk broken down into fine bits so it can be piped later (no big chunks). Papa would most likely use a hand mixer’s beaters to do the job, because it’s the most similar to a power tool :-). Me, I like using my potato masher. It may take longer, but it helps work out those frustrations.
Once the yolks are ready, all the other ingredients are mixed in until combined and smooth. If I’m in a hurry, I may just dollop the mixture into the egg white cavities. However, I think it looks better when it’s piped in. Usually. Apparently, this day wasn’t a good piping day!
Do you have any special Easter food traditions? I’d love to hear about them!
Easter Deviled Eggs
- 12 eggs
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 2 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- mild paprika for garnish optional
- food coloring optional
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar per food color optional.
- Place the eggs in a pan with enough water to completely cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then place a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and let sit for 25 min.
- Drain the hot water, replacing with cold and/or ice water; repeat until the eggs have cooled to the touch.
- Carefully peel the eggs. See note below about dyeing the eggs.
- Slice each egg in half lengthwise. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl, setting aside the egg whites for now. Let drain on a paper towel until dry.
- Mash the egg yolks into fine pieces (no visible chunks). Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper to the egg yolks and stir until combined.
- Place the yolk mixture in a piping bag or plastic disposable bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg white cavities.
- Sprinkle lightly with paprika, if desired.
- Refrigerator for 30 minutes. Serve chilled.