Easter Eggs Of Another Color

31 Mar

Well, it’s that time of year again, time to dust off my most popular post of all time.  Apparently I’m not the only pickled egg fanatic out there…

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Red Beet Eggs

It’s that time of year when the hearts of children, and yes, grown men and women the world over, sing with glee and hope.  It’s time to bite the ears off a chocolate rabbit.  Or snarf down multiple bags of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.

And while I am human, and I do get a weird thrill out of chomping on dopey, oddly vacant bunnies in dark, milk and white chocolate varieties, the thing that really makes my heart go pitter-pat as we approach the Easter season is, of course, pickles.

And I know I am not alone.

Over the past two weeks, I have been getting hundreds of hits a day from people looking for a pickled red beet egg recipe.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Red Beet Eggs

Don't they look a bit like a sunset?

So, pickled egg lovers of the world unite! Here is what you’re looking for:

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Hard Boiled Eggs And Red Beets (aka, pickled red beet eggs)

  • 1 can small, whole red beets¹
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 3 or 4 whole cloves
  • small pieces of cinnamon
  • 1 doz. hard boiled eggs

Put all together in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel eggs and add to liquid and beets.
Put all in a jar or container and cover.
Allow to pickle for about 2 days before using (aka,EATING!)

This recipe first appeared in the Pitcher Hill Church’s Ladies Cook Book.

It’s my grandmother’s recipe, or maybe even her mother’s, or her mother’s mother’s. We’re not 100% sure.  What I can guarantee is that these are delicious. Make them and eat them in good health.


¹ Last year someone asked, a little snidely in my opinion, why the recipe didn’t use fresh beets.  My answer to this is: Because it is my grandmother’s recipe, and this is how I’ve always eaten these eggs, and so it’s how I’ll always make them.  Also, this is an old recipe, from a time when canned beets were probably considered a luxury.  If anyone has ever tried making these with fresh beets, I would love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment.


13 Responses to “Easter Eggs Of Another Color”

  1. otherwisealilly March 31, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    oh so odd and lovely.

  2. myrnie March 31, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    Do you refrigerate these? I’ve seen recipes both ways.

    As for fresh beets, I don’t think they’d work here :) With only 10 minutes of cooking, that’s definitely too short to soften, and I think the canning would help release more of their amazing color into the pickling solution. Looks yummy…

  3. WillB April 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    Sorry, I just can’t get by the pickled egg thing…am I missing something? Not that I have been slacking…I’ve been running a regular catering business this week supplying ailing relatives…and of course, it’s all comfort food: pot roast, turkey, baked ziti, pork roast, manicotti… BTW, where are the pics of Bermuda? Glad you brought back some sunshine.

  4. Toni April 2, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    I confess I’ve never even heard of a pickled egg with beets, let alone eaten one. But they are lovely, and the recipe is so easy it’s definitely worth a try!

  5. ann April 3, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Lilly — Aren’t they? To me, they taste pretty good too!

    Myrnie — We do refrigerate them, but I don’t think you have to. I’ve been to bars that keep jars of pickled eggs out in the open. I agree with you, I just don’t think real beets would work. Sometimes it’s best not to mess with my gramma’s recipe :-)

    Will — Ask and you shall receive! Pictures and a post posted. I think you either love or hate pickled eggs. It helps to really like vinegar and food with rubbery texture.

    Toni — I really like them, they have all the earthiness and sweetness of a beet, with the tang of vinegar and the egginess of, uhm, eggs! If you try them and hate them, give them to any friends from Pennsylvania or Ireland. They’ll love you forever!

  6. Samantha from Maine April 3, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    I think they are beau-ti-ful.

  7. Marisa April 3, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    I have a very very similar family recipe (ours has an onion, though – I can’t imagine making it without the onion!). Although my recipe calls for canned beets, too, I like to use fresh beets instead when I have the time. I roast ’em until they’re fork-tender in the oven (325F or so), and do that messy skinning thing after they’ve cooled.

    After they’re cooked, you can just use them as specified in your recipe.

  8. Marcia April 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    My mother used to put up 80 – 100 quarts of beets per year. After we’d eaten them, she put hard boiled eggs in the quart jar with the juices. We had pickled eggs all the time, and yes, they were refrigerated. We had beets 2-4 times per week all winter long. I love the earthy taste. We often made them into Harvard beets.

    You can make them with fresh beets, but unless you use a vinegar solution, the eggs will not be “pickled”. I love fresh or canned beets and the greens are outstanding.

  9. ann April 6, 2009 at 5:46 am #

    Samantha — I do too!

    Marisa — Thanks for the info! I love the idea of the onion. Would you mind sending me your recipe? I’ll email you.

    Marcia — That is *A LOT* of beets! Your mother sounds like an amazing and dedicated woman! I’ll have to look up Harvard beets. I love the greens too, by the way, so tasty!

  10. Susanne April 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    Hi, the recipe looks very interesting and I will defenitely try them. I have a question: what is the “c.” in the recipe – can?
    Thanks in advance!


    • ann April 11, 2009 at 7:29 am #

      Hi Susanne — c. stands for cup. You can approximate the measurements or eyeball them, there’s no need for precision!

  11. Susanne April 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    Thanks, Ann, you see I´m a not native english-speaking person! ;-) Now I know and won´t forget! :-)

  12. Lindy April 13, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    Another reason for using canned beets is the need for small, uniformly sized beets to go with the eggs. My husband used to make these with canned whole small pickled beets and boiled eggs- and no additional ingredients. Not bad, even with that minimal approach.

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