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Thursday, April 1, 2010 01:58 am

Deviled Easter eggs

  • Hard-boiled eggs, shelled
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Cider vinegar
  • Ground turmeric, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • Red, blue, green and purple food coloring
  • Sprigs of dill, parsley or unsprayed edible flowers or flower petals such as violets, nasturtiums, or herb flowers for garnish, optional

Fill 4 large jars such as quart canning jars or bowls about 2/3 full of cold water. Add a color to each container – if you want a brighter or deeper color, add more, for pastel colors, use less. The final color of the eggs will depend on the amount of color you use as well as the length of time the egg whites spend in the solutions. Halve the eggs lengthwise, gently remove the yolks and set aside. Remove any of the yolk that clings to the edges or outside with the corner of a damp paper towel. Discard any torn or broken egg whites, but do add their yolks to the others. Divide the cut egg white halves equally among the containers of colored water. Let stand for at least 1 hour or cover and refrigerate overnight. The color will deepen the longer they stand in the solution.

Purée the yolks in a food processor. Alternatively press them through a food mill or sieve or mash them with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, turmeric (this gives the yolks a brighter yellow color) salt, and pepper to taste. The term “deviled” implies a degree of spiciness, however the amounts depend on your personal taste. Do start with just a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise, a teaspoon of mustard, and the same with the vinegar. You want to create a smooth creamy mixture, but one that is not too loose. It’s much easier to add additional seasonings than it is to correct a mixture that is too runny or spicy. Refrigerate the yolk mixture if not using immediately.

Gently remove the whites from the jars and tip out any liquid remaining in the cavities. Turn them upside down on paper towels for 15-30 minutes or until they are completely drained and relatively dry, putting the colors on separate towels so the dye liquids don’t mingle. Place the dyed egg white halves cut side up on a platter large enough to hold them comfortably in one layer. Fill the cavities with the yolk mixture using a portion scoop, two spoons, or a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Garnish with a sprig of dill or parsley, or an edible flower if desired.

NOTE – The whites may be dyed to fit the season or be a conversation stopper for your favorite sports team. Dye the whites black and add extra turmeric for Halloween or a sports team whose colors are black and gold. Make Illini or Chicago Bears eggs by dying the whites deep blue and adding a tablespoon or so of sweet Hungarian paprika and a drop or two of red food coloring to the yolk mixture. 

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