This recipe for Tangy Appalachian-Style Deviled Eggs comes originally from my beloved Gramma (God rest her soul) who taught it to my mother who taught it to me. In 1950’s Appalachia, many folks didn’t have measuring cups and spoons so it was originally passed down with words like squirt, smidgen, dab, dash, pinch, and “until it’s about right.” That is how I learned it. But I have done my best to curb that urge and give you actual amounts that should be “about right.” Just remember, the trick is to add your ingredients S-L-O-W-L-Y until you get the right consistency and the perfect blend of flavors. Don’t just dump it all in there at once. You can always add a little more of this or that, but you cannot take it away once it is too runny. The flavor should be tangy and the consistency should be like firm mashed potatoes.
- (based on two dozen eggs)
- 24 cooked, chilled egg yolks
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Miracle Whip)
- 4 T sweet pickle relish (slightly rounded)
- 4 T sweet pickle juice (juice from bread & butter pickles works great!)
- 3 T mustard (4 T if you don't have dry mustard below)
- 1/2 t dry mustard powder
- 1/2 t celery seed
- 1/2 T dill SEED (in a pinch you can substitute with dill WEED)
- 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
- Salt to taste (usually about 1/2 t)
- Paprika & dill weed sprinkled lightly on top to garnish (you can also use black olive slices or bread & butter pickles, but personally I think those options ruin the flavor)
- Peel the eggs. I am most successful when I tap & crack the ends of the egg first, then gently tap & crack around the middle.
- Rinse off any tiny shell slivers from the peeled eggs and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Gently squeeze each half and pop out yolks into a medium size bowl.
- Rinse the whites in cool water (couple of times if needed).
- Separate out any broken, torn, unusable egg whites in a separate bowl and set aside for taste tests and impatient spouses hovering over your shoulder.
- Drain the rest, pat dry on paper towels, put in a covered container, and place in the fridge for now.
- Smash the yolks with a fork into a fine crumble.
- Add the dry ingredients and a little less of the wet ingredients (mayo, mustard, pickle relish & pickle juice) than is listed above at first. Mix thoroughly working out the yolk lumps as you go.
- TASTE a small amount of the batter on the broken whites you set aside earlier and decide what it needs more of. If it seems too dry, pasty, and flat, it needs more pickle juice. If it is perfectly tangy, but just a tad too dry & pasty, add more mayo. If it lacks "spicy" add more mustard powder or relish. I even like to add a few drops of Tabasco or hot sauce to mine if needs more of a kick. NOTE: THE PICKLE JUICE MAKES THIS RECIPE! That is where it gets its flavor. Don't be afraid to add more of it if your batter is not tangy enough. Just don't add so much that it turns runny!
- Stop adding wet ingredients when it is the consistency of firm mashed potatoes or extra thick yogurt.
- Taste again. Repeat until PERFECT but stop tasting when all the broken egg whites are gone ... now, you are enjoying this too much! And no, you can't take from egg whites you put in the fridge!
- Put the batter into a pastry bag or zip lock baggie and return it to the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors meld.
- When time to serve, retrieve the egg whites (make sure they are dry) and the pastry bag. If using a baggie, snip off the corner so it serves as a pastry bag. (NO TASTE TESTS at this stage! That is cheating!)
- Squeeze the bag to evenly fill egg whites with yolk batter.
- Sprinkle lightly with paprika and dill weed to add color and extra flavor.
- If you need this for Thanksgiving, spread out the work. Boil on Tuesday, make the batter anytime Wednesday, and put them together on Thursday morning.
Below are a few photos of the process, but I scaled down the quantity to just six eggs because well, it’s not Thanksgiving yet! This is just to give you the gist of it in photos. Normally, I make at least 2 dozen so making just 1/4 of that was hard. Still, that is why the photos don’t look like the same quantities as described above. Check the captions for any clarification.
This recipe is part of the 7 Days of Homemade Thanksgiving Recipes with the Homestead Blogger’s Network.
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