DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

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22 May 2013

Too many eggs?

If you're keeping chickens in the backyard, often you'll reach a point when you have too many eggs. Luckily, eggs are always easy to give away but they're also very easy to use up. Two of my favourite egg-based meals are quiche and creme caramel. Both recipes can be made many different ways, this is how I make them.

Quiche
Don't be put off by making your own pastry. Like everything else, it's a skill that can be learned and when you do, it will open up so many other recipes. I did a tutorial on how to make pastry here, so I hope you are guided by that and make your own pastry case from scratch.


The pastry has to be blind baked first. That's just the cooking term for baking the pastry case without the filling in it. To blind bake, you prepare the pastry in the flan dish, cover it with a sheet of baking paper and pour on some chick peas or beans to weigh the paper down. Bake that in the oven till it's a soft golden colour, then remove it from the oven, take the paper and beans off, add the filling and pop it back into the oven to bake.

Quiche filling
Eggs are always the main ingredient for a quiche filling. I used six eggs in my quiche and a cup of cream. The other ingredients were just what I had in the cupboard. Quiche is a flexible recipe and you can add whatever suits your taste and you have handy in the cupboard or fridge. In addition to the eggs, I added mushrooms, leeks, spring onions, garlic, capsicum/red pepper that had all been pre-cooked and allowed to cool down. When the pastry was blind baked, I poured in the egg mixture and baked the quiche in a moderate oven until it was golden brown.

Quiche is one of those versatile meals that can be served hot or cold. I love it both ways with maybe a slight preference for the cold version. It's a good food to add to lunch boxes and the perfect choice for a light lunch of dinner, with the addition of a salad. Your fillings could also include bacon, ham, celery, eggplant, spinach, kale or potato - all pre-cooked and allowed to cool.

Creme Caramel
I think this might be my favourite dessert although we don't often have it at home, if we dine out and it's on the menu, I usually choose it.



Ingredients ...

...for caramel
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup water

½ cup sugar
1 cup cream
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs

This dish must be slow cooked in the oven. Preheat your oven to 165C/330F. 

In a heavy based saucepan, place ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup cold water and turn on to medium heat. Stir the mix to help the sugar dissolve and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, until it turns into a golden caramel. Remove from heat and when it stops bubbling, pour into 6 ramekins, dividing the caramel evenly.  Fill up the saucepan with water straight away to help with washing up later.

...for creamy dessert


Fill the kettle with water and put it on to boil. 

Add cream, milk and vanilla to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until small bubbles start to form. 

Whisk eggs and the remaining sugar in a jug until pale and creamy, then slowly add the hot cream mixture to the eggs, whisking while you pour. Pour that mixture through a fine sieve into the ramekins, dividing it evenly between the six of them.

Place the ramekins a large baking dish and pour boiling water into baking dish until halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in a slow oven for 30 minutes or until just set - you want the centre to be firmish but slightly wobbly. 

When cooked, remove the remekins and allow to cool before storing in the fridge overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the custard, put the plate over the top of the ramekin and turn it out onto the plate.

Tasty and versatile egg recipes are like gold when you have chickens roaming in your backyard. What are your favourite egg recipes?

46 comments:

  1. Hi Rhonda, I frequently have too many eggs! If I don't have time to make/blind bake pastry, I just use a couple of sheets of frozen puff pastry (defrosted) and lay them over a pie dish and trim the edges. Then I pile in whatever filling I fancy, usually lightly sauteed chopped homegrown spinach, toasted pinenuts, crumbled feta, eggs and cream). Then I just baste the edges of the puff pastry with a little of the egg mixture, bake until set. Not a true quiche I know, more like a frittata with pastry, but very handy for those days when I can't make pastry. Yum!

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  2. Great recipes. We're just starting to think about getting our own chickens and I'm reading a lot about it. Having extra eggs is something I would both love and be worried about, though. I don't like eggs all by themselves, but the rest of the family does. If we had too many, I'm sure I could use them in recipes and then I'd be able to enjoy them more too.

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  3. Rhonda, great recipies. I've been looking for your recipeforbaked egg custard but can't find it. Could you post a link? Many thanks.

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    1. I've added it to the side bar. :- )

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  4. I love a good quiche! I also often do a crustless quiche if I'm not in the mood for pastry making.

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  5. I don't have either of these very often any more, but egg and lettuce sandwiches, and hard boiled eggs added to potato salad. Yummo!

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  6. Hi Rhonda, my MIL gives us a dozen eggs each week as they have too many for the two of them and there is no comparison to the flavour and the taste. We love a fluffy egg omelette. Yum.

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  7. I am actually making your spinach pie today. That recipe is on high rotation at our house. Serve with homemade chutney- delicious. Thank you Rhonda. Jade x

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  8. Yum, yum, yum! I love scrambled eggs for breakfast or lunch, adding egg to fried rice/millet/etc, toad in the hole (great for kids!), and tortes which often require many eggs. Gosh you've made me hungry! I'm totally out of eggs at the moment. I would dearly love to have chickens but I'm afraid they're not allowed here in the city. Oh well!

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  9. We've got heaps of eggs! With 3 chickens in our backyard it's the perfect amount. I've never made a creme caramel! But I do love them.

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  10. Yummy recipes, thanks Rhonda - will have to put them away till Spring though. I have 11 hens of varying ages and have had no eggs for a fortnight, think they have given it away for Winter. Will have to buy eggs when I'm out today and I HATE it!

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  11. I love eggs and while we don't have chickens (yet!) our neighbours and colleagues give us plenty. My husband makes zucchini slice during zucchini season which he freezes into portions, then takes one out each day for his lunch. We aren't big pastry eaters so instead I'll make frittata. I have had to "trick" my son somewhat. He doesn't like the eggy taste so instead of adding milk I'll use leftover homemade pumpkin soup instead. The pumpkin flavour disguises the eggs and he loves it.

    We have had a really bad case of salmonella poisoning in Canberra recently with over 140 people sick from the one restaurant (confirmed it came from raw egg mayonnaise). What are your thoughts about using raw eggs?

    Have a great week,

    Sara

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    Replies
    1. Sara, I would have no problem using raw eggs from my chickens because I know they're clean and show no signs of disease. I would not use store bought eggs raw.

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  12. We have 3 hens that we got in January when they were I think 12 week old.... so far no eggs :(
    Not expecting the girls to get with the program now until the other side of winter, it's gotten too cold now and the days are most definitely getting shorter.
    Rhonda have you got any suggestions on why the girls haven't produced any eggs before the weather turned cold? They eat laying pellets and some veggie scraps. All 3 girls seem healthy and happy.

    Amy from Albury

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    1. Amy, your girls should have started maying at 18 - 22 weeks, it varies on the chooks. I guess that would have been around April. You may get one that doesn't lay according to plan, but not all three. Have their combs and wattles (the red bits on their faces) grown larger? Are they red or pink? These are indications of maturity and readiness to lay. If I were in your shoes, I'd give them a protein boost - even now. Some of our chooks will lay all through winter if we give them a high protein diet. Just make up some porridge with warm milk. They'll think it's a real treat and it may boost them into laying a couple of eggs.

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    2. The girls have combs and wattles that have grown larger and are red. I'll give the porridge with warm milk a go tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed. Would be nice to see an egg or two before the end of the month. Thanks for the advice Rhonda.

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    3. I can vouch for the porridge and warm milk - it works a treat. I'm in Melbourne and our winters are one shade of feral (don't like winter !!) Our girls kept on laying through Winter last year I think because they were well fed with not only their pellets but porridge and other scraps throughout the day. Sure there were days when we got fewer but they didn't have to use all their energy to stay warm with the extra help they are able to produce eggs throughout winter.

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  13. We don't have too many 'extra' eggs at this time of the year getting anywhere between 1-4 a day, but I must try out that dessert recipe! We make a lot of quiches, the kids love them cold in their lunchboxes which is always a bonus!

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  14. Hi rhonda.
    Don't forget you can always freeze your eggs. Put them straight into the freezer, yes, whole eggs with the shell still on. When you need one, run the egg under a warm tap ,peel the shell off the frozen egg, sit the egg in a saucer at room temp until liquid again. Good as new. Try it, it's amazing!! You will never need a shop bought egg.
    We have 5 beautiful hens and seem to have gluts of eggs like everyone. We like bread n butter pudding to use them up. Cakes with 3 eggs are also helpful.
    And, yes, if they have lots of scraps that are protein rich, the eggs are bigger the next day. Value adding for no cost!!! Gotta love chickens, Jenny.

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    1. Someone told me about freezing eggs a few months ago but I haven't done it myself. I tend to give ours away. I'm definitely going to try it though. Thanks for your comment, Jenny.

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    2. It's a fun experiment to show children. You'd think the egg would explode, leak etc but it stays almost perfectly intact.

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    3. Here's a YouTube clip of someone freezing this it whole eggs.

      http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=VgLKBfv7px0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DVgLKBfv7px0

      Very cool idea Jennifer.

      Amy from Albury.

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    4. I've never heard of this. Wow! - I'm going to have to try it.

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  15. I love a good egg salad sandwich! I learned to make and roll pastry when I was a child. My Mother had me preparing the dough and rolling while she prepared pie fillings. It is a lost art and I have had women over to teach them how to do it in my own kitchen.

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  16. Never heard of blind-baking a quiche crust before. In fact, I have never blind-baked a crust at all! Can you use the beans after that, or must you throw them away? I know there are pie weights you can buy for this purpose, too.

    My dear friend keeps us well supplied in eggs. When I'm a little overwhelmed, I hard boil and pickle them in a brine. Have a jar of red-beet eggs at the moment. We love mustard eggs, too.

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    1. I use rice or dry beans which I keep in a jar for the next time I blind bake. They last for ages, are a whole lot cheaper than buying special blind baking weights, and when they've done their dash you can throw them in the compost! Blind baking means the pastry is generally properly cooked on the bottom, which makes for a much yummier product. When I don't have brain space to remember to blind bake, it's still good but the bottom pastry is soggy. Definitely worth factoring in the extra 15 mins to blind bake :-)

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    2. We eat lots of frittatas in this house which are great because you don't have to have lots of time and they can have all sorts of things in them. I've recently found that adding a blob of sour cream to the egg mix before pouring it over the veges and bacon/chorizo really lightens the egg component.

      We have eggs for dinner most Sundays, and sometimes have fried egg sandwiches for lunch.

      We give lots of eggs away over summer, which helps the oversupply issue, but I often struggle to work out what to do with the half of the egg I don't need for a given recipe. Some of my ideas for extra egg whites include the obvious meringues, but also friands, old fashioned macaroons and more meringues. For excess egg yolks, there's always custard, lemon curd (I can eat this by the spoonful!!), hollandaise sauce (very occasionally or while Breastfeeding - there's a whole lot of butter in it!), or mayonnaise. I'm sure there are many other ideas out there, too!

      I love having chooks in my backyard!

      Anna

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  17. I make a crustless quiche, and also freeze my quiches. Great to thaw and gently heat for company (bake before freezing!).

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  18. When the kids were young we had chickens and once a week I made a large jar of lemon butter, the kids loved it on hot toast and I also used it to make tarts for their lunch boxes.

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  19. What a coincidence (and it's not the first time that you post something I'm doing or thinking of doing), I've just finished my last portion of creme caramel. I also make this or custard pie whenever I have too many eggs and milk.
    Egg sald is also a good way to use those extra eggs (boiled eggs, mayo...) or angel food cake.
    Diana

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  20. Too many eggs? No such thing! ;)

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  21. Hmmm Ive been making quiche forever and i stick to a standard recipe of 4 eggs to 250ml cream. You didnt use cream in yours. Its my go to recipe when there are just small amounts of things in the fridge. I particularly like potato and bacon quiche or tuna and corn or canned salmon and onion. Dont forget to wash and dry those egg shells for the garden, chooks, worms etc.

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    1. Lynda, I'm so pleased you commented otherwise I wouldn't have realisedI left the cream out of the quiche recipe. Like you, I always use cream. Thanks! xx

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  22. I think the crustless quiche that people are talking about must be like the one I make where you add the flour to the quiche mix and the whole thing is kind of solid. Its the only one my kids will eat now. Their 75 year old pop is the one who taught them that one. Does anyone have any tips for speeding up the part in the pastry making where you are rubbing the butter and flour until breadcrumb consistency? My arms are always so tired by the time I finish. Ps I dont have a food processor and am unlikely to afford one in the near (or far) future.
    Jenize

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    1. I don't know if it would work for pastry but I have a cheat when making scones. I melt the butter and mix it into the flour. I then rub it through a sieve. it's much quicker and gives the same result. the scones are always yummy!

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  23. I have three hens and three eggs most days so they can mount up quite quickly. I usually use four a week making a massive victoria sponge cake.

    Sunday mornings we have bacon and eggs for breakfast.

    On occasion I make lemon curd and that uses a few, although I don't make too much at a time as it won't keep like jam even in the fridge.

    There's also egg-based sponges like genoise cakes. I recently made a birthday genoise cake with fresh cream and fruit inside and on top as a decoration. It can be a tricky cake to get right as you don't use any raising agent besides heavily whipped whole eggs. I can't say I ever have reached the pinnacle of genoise-cake making perfection but my efforts are edible.

    Also I can 'lose' an egg in a pea, bacon and mint hot salad - after I've cooked all the ingredients separatly I heat them all through in pan together and throw an egg in there, miving it round to make sure I've coated everything as it cooks.

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  24. Rhonda, my sister supplies us with LOTS of eggs, which is great because we go through LOTS. I would that say that quiche is definitely our favorite. Spinach and mushrooms are favorite ingredients.
    I love your pictures. Everything looks so DELICIOUS!

    Blessings,
    Julie
    www.ourlittleredsaltbox.blogspot.com

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  25. Delicious recipes Rhonda! I have recently found a recipe for an egg dish that used bread as a base for a bake similar to a quiche. I love making my own pastry but this is a good alternative for those days when that's not an option - I called the dish "French Toast Quiche" and have the recipe on my blog if you are interested.
    I'd love to be able to keep chickens but I think our dog Keith would have a meltdown :-) Kirsten x

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  26. My husband and son love pickled eggs (I do not particularly care for them) so I make a gallon jar from time to time. We have "Egg Night" as the kids call it. Usually, it's a supper of add what you want omelets, a frittata, or a big batch of scrambled eggs jazzed up with cheese and ham or bacon. I try to keep hard -boiled eggs in the fridge to add to salads or just to eat as a snack. Another thing I do to use up eggs is to make a huge batch of egg noodles to dry and freeze. They are so good in soups and tuna casserole. Our barn cats will get a special treat of scrambled eggs once in a while if I have a huge glut of eggs. lol
    Kristina

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  27. Like many others have mentioned, frittatas (sp.?), lemon curd, and hollandaise are some of our family's favorites when we have lots of eggs on hand. I also love a well-poached egg on homemade sourdough bread, and have found that a scrambled or fried egg is a great place for a very beginning cook (like my 10 year old son) to start learning to use the stove. It's very forgiving as a recipe, and children feel so much pride when they can make something "by themselves" that can be fed to other members of the family! Oh, and I can't forget deviled eggs. I've found that almost every man on earth seems to love those, but almost never get to eat them. They cause a veritable stampede when taken to a potluck or family dinner! Love your blog as always, Rhonda -- it's always an uplifting part of my day. kristin

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  28. Hi Rhonda, after seeing your picture and photo of the quiche, I decided to cook quiche for our dinner. I pre cooked some diced zucchini, red onion and red pepper. Added the eggs and put it in the dish to cook. We used frozen pastry and it still tasted great.
    I love reading your blog. I make your lemon cordial for the kids and it is so much better than the store bought.

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  29. When we have an egg glut I often hard boil some for snacks for the kids. We also make what we call quiche but is really impossible pie which takes out the need to make pastry. I always smile whilst I mix in the flour, knowing that it will form its own pastry. :)

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  30. Hi Rhonda. I just wanted to say thanks for your blog and book. They have been such an inspiration for me. We got 3 chooks in January (the same time as Amy from Albury), an Australorp, Wyandotte and Belgian D'uccle. They seemed to take forever to start laying and the breeder said that Melbourne's long hot summer and strange seasons of late had effected her chooks making them malt??? which can effect egg laying. Our Wyandotte started laying first and I was about to give up on the Australorp when it started laying only about a month ago. The Belgian D'uccle still hasn't laid. Happy though to be getting 1-2 eggs daily.

    Anyway, my friend Sarah gets loads of eggs from her Isa Browns and has written a post on our blog about packaging up egg gifts to say thankyou for hospitality instead of chocolates or wine. They look great and when you add it into her cost analysis of keeping chickens it makes them a great investment for the backyard. If you would like to take a look the post is at http://tomatotales.com.au/2013/04/15/chicken-egg-gifts-fresh-from-the-bum/

    Thanks for everything,
    Tillie

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  31. Thank you Rhonda for the lovely quiche recipe. I made it for Saturday night supper and my family all thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't exactly have an egg glut at the moment, but am hoping to soon when our new girlies get a little bit older and all start laying. Best wishes to you and Hanno.

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  32. Rhonda, I am going to try the creme caramel. I have been looking at the recipe for years in my The Best Recipe cookbook and never seem to get up the nerve to try it.

    When I have "too many eggs" I either make a Hakuna Frittata which refrigerates well, or I use the yolks to make chocolate pudding and the whites to make almond cookies. http://chezvorax.blogspot.com/search/label/eggs
    Cheers,
    J

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    Replies
    1. I tried the creme caramel. I think I didn't let the caramel cook long enough (or maybe I didn't have high enough heat). I am more used to the dry method of caramel. A lot of the sugar precipitated out into a big sugar wafer. I also think I should have taken the ramekins out of the hot water right away. I left them in as the water cooled and the custard ended up quite firm. Even with all of that, my wife liked it, so I will definitely try again.

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