Soft, Stiff, or Dry and Other Practical Eggvice
Desiri Wightman, RD
Soft Peaks: Beat the whites until peaks lift up and then curl over when the beater is lifted from the mixture.
Stiff Peaks: Beat the whites until they no longer slip when you tip the bowl. Whites should still have gloss.
Dry: Beat the whites until clumps form and mixture has a grainy appearance.
When a recipe calls for room temperature eggs, pull eggs from the refrigerator and set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes or place them in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes.
I was speaking with my daughter who is a wonderful cook and we were discussing the problem of how much care we have to exercise in handling meats and poultry. I think we all agree that separating eggs works better if separated while cold, but whipping the whites works better when they are at room temperature, so she said, "I want to bring my egg whites to room temperature faster than leaving them out for the length of time they need to do that naturally, so I have started putting my egg whites on the "Hold Warm" setting of the microwave for a few minutes and it works perfectly."
I think she has something there, so I did just that yesterday and she's right, it works great!" Thought I would share that tip with you. Thanks for being there with so many recipe's to download and all the information you supply in order to make our lives so much easier. Keep up the good work.
If you overbeat your whites, you may be able to salvage them if other ingredients have not yet been added. Toss in one additional egg white and whip again just until peaks start to foam and look glossy.
When making deviled eggs, the night before lay your carton of eggs on its side in the refrigerator and the egg yolks will stay in the middle after they are cooked.
Keep your fresh from the refrigerator eggs from cracking while boiling by placing them gently in the pan and adding cool water. Then bring the water to a gentle simmer. Placing cold eggs directly in warm or hot water causes shells to crack, much the way crockery does when subjected to extreme temperature changes.
To prevent curdling in your sauces or puddings, never boil a sauce containing egg yolks unless your sauce includes the stabilizing power of flour. Heat the sauce gently and thoroughly, but don't let it boil. Never add yolks directly to your hot liquid. Instead, whisk some of the hot liquid (just a bit at a time) into the yolks to bring them slowly up to temperature. If you add them all at once to your sauce, they'll be temperature shocked into curdle syndrome. And once your sauce curdles, there is unfortunately little you can do to make it smooth again, except perhaps to run it through a very fine sieve. When you're ready to add the warmed yolks into your hot liquid, drizzle them slowly into the sauce and use your whisk and beat that drizzle in quickly. They'll have less chance of curdling if that whisk is dancing in the pan to incorporate them into the sauce.
If your meringue shell breaks, make a beautiful trifle out of your dessert instead. Simply crumble the meringue and layer it with berries, pudding, and whipped topping in a glass bowl or parfait glasses.
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