The Hot Hues of the Pennsylvania Dutch

Ever since seeing a photo of the finished product, I’ve wanted to try my hand at these pickled beets and eggs. With our first brunch in need of something with a little pizzazz, I set about to see what magic the Pennsylvania Dutch had crafted. This one requires a bit of forethought and planning, as it is essential that the 48-hour soaking period be honored in order to achieve the colorful brilliance you see here.

Billed as a “gift from the Amish” (and all of my close friends know my affinity with the Amish), here is the old-fashioned recipe in case you want to recreate it.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Beets & Eggs

  • 8 eggs (hard boiled)
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans whole pickled beets, juice reserved
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 whole cloves
  1. Place eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Removed from hot water, cool, and peel.
  2. Place beets onion and peeled eggs in a non-reactive glass or plastic container. Set aside.
  3. In medium size non-reactive saucepan, combine sugar, 1 cup reserved beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and cloves. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Pour hot liquid over beets and eggs. Cover and refrigerate 48 hours before using. (Stir or shake once or twice a day for even color to soak through.)

This is not a recipe for everyone, but it would make a great side-dish for Easter, thanks to the way the beet color seeps into the eggs. Once they are cut open, it’s the sort of combination that doesn’t seem real for something you can eat, but there it is, a wondrous collision of hot pink and sunny egg-yolk yellow.

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