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Pickled Eggs

Preserves - Savoury

Whole, shelled, hard-boiled eggs preserved in clear vinegar.

The practice is not reported before the early 19th Century, being described in the 'Reading Mercury' of Saturday 31 May 1845 as "a somewhat novel feature in the catalogue of condiments". As late as 1850 the 'Derbyshire Courier' (26 October) could say that; "Among the numerout pickles in common use, it very rarely occurs that pickled eggs are to be witnessed, either in oil-shops or upon the table." A report in the 'Yorkshire Gazette' had earlier felt it necessary to warn the public against them;

Yorkshire Gazette - Saturday 27 November 1830

Traditionally eggs have been pickled to keep abundant summer eggs for use in the winter, almost all earlier receipts add ginger to the pickle.


Original Receipt from the Bucks Herald - Saturday 8 October 1842

Pickled Eggs -An industrious farmer's wife, residing at Shipton, near Andover, among a variety of other pickles which she annually introduces into her storeroom, preserves pickled eggs. The process she uses in curing them is very simple. When she has a large stock of eggs on hand she boils some six or seven dozen till they become hard. She then divests them of the shell, and puts them into large jars, pouring upon them scalding vinegar saturated with ginger, garlic, whole pepper and allspice. This pickle is an admirable aid to cold meat, and is in the winter months, regarded as a perfect farm house luxury.

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management' edited by Isabella Beeton, 1861 (See Mrs.B)

407. INGREDIENTS. - 16 eggs, 1 quart of vinegar,½ oz. of Black pepper,½ oz. of Jamaica pepper,½ oz. of ginger.
Mode. - Boil the eggs for 12 minutes, then dip them into cold water, and take off the shells. Put the vinegar, with the pepper and ginger, into a stewpan, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Now place the eggs in a jar, pour over them the vinegar, &c., boiling hot, and, when cold, tie them down with bladder to exclude the air. This pickle will be ready for use in a month.
Average cost, for this quantity, 1s. 9d.
Seasonable. - This should be made about Easter, as at this time eggs are plentiful and cheap. A store of pickled eggs will be found very useful and ornamental in serving with many first and second course dishes.

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