Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

Craft projects are not the usual subject matter of this blog, but I think we can all agree that these naturally dyed easter eggs are too beautiful to not share. There are a ton of in-depth tutorials for naturally dyed eggs online and I pulled information from many them, but this tutorial from The Kitchn is a good place to start if you are new to natural dyes. Better Homes and Gardens also has a great list of foods you can use as dyes.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

For the eggs in this post, I used three dyes: one made from shredded red beets (pink and maroon tones), one made from shredded purple cabbage (blue and green tones), and a mix of the two dyes (mauve and gray tones). I used both white and brown eggs which provided really beautiful, subtle color variations that I love. I also dyed some eggs yellow with turmeric, but the results were a bit pale so I didn't include them in these photos. You can also over-dye naturally green and blue eggs laid by Aracuna hens, which I have done in the past. The results are just stunning, but the eggs can be a bit pricey so I skipped it this year. 

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

A quick announcement! This here blog was nominated for a Saveur Blog Award in the Best Baking & Desserts Category, and I am thrilled! Thank you to whoever nominated me! If you feel compelled, visit Saveur to vote for your favorites in all 13 categories. So many wonderful blogs (and people!) are up for awards, and I am honored to be among them. 

General Method for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

You'll need about 1 cup of dye matter (shredded beets, shredded cabbage or check this post for more color options ) per 1 cup of water, and about 4 cups of dye per dozen eggs. Scale up or down depending on how many eggs you'd like to dye. Hot tip: Shred your beets in the sink to avoid spattering red all over your kitchen.

To prepare the dyes, combine the dye matter with the appropriate amount water in a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes. Check the dye occasionally for color, you want the liquid to be a couple of shades darker than your desired finished egg color. Strain the dye into a clean container and let it cool to room temperature. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per 1 cup of dye. 

Meanwhile, hard boil your eggs and let them cool.

Arrange the cooked eggs in a container or containers (ideally in a single layer) and pour the dye over the top to submerge the eggs completely. Transfer the containers to the refrigerator, and let the eggs sit in the dye baths until they reach your desired color. I let my eggs sit for almost 24 hours. Remember that when the eggs dry they will be slightly lighter in color than when they are wet, like a stone picked up at the beach.

Carefully remove the eggs from the dye baths, give them a quick rinse, pat dry, and you're done! You can rub the eggs with a bit of vegetable oil to give them a sheen and enhance the color a bit if you like.

Now, who has a great recipe for deviled eggs?

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

Pavlova with Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate

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pavlova with pink grapefruit and pomegranate (yossy arefi)

Most folks might associate pavlova with a big pile of summer berries, but they are just as nice with a citrusy kick instead. For this wintery pavlova I topped crisp and chewy pillows of meringue with Tartine Bakery's perfect lemon cream which is a sweet, tart, and buttery-rich riff on lemon curd. The whole thing is adorned with juicy slices of pink grapefruit and tart pomegranate arils. Llight and refreshing to the max.

A few things

- I recently updated my portfolio site, I'd love if you all took a look: yossyarefi.com 

- If you love meyer lemons and grapefruit too, check out this killer bundt cake recipe.

- I made some meyer lemon eclairs for Food52 last week. Check them out here.

- Thanks for all of your kind words on my last post!

Pavlovas with Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate

yield 6-8 individual or 1 large pavlova

In the photos above I made 6 6-inch "individual" pavlovas. This dessert is quite light and most people would probably be able to finish a pavlova that size, but for more modest dessert eaters try making 8 (or even 10) individual meringues. If you can't find meyer lemons for this recipe, go ahead and use regular lemons and if you can't find pink grapefruit, any sweet citrus fruit would be just great. I originally intended to make this with blood oranges, but couldn't find any. Also, 

 make sure to use room temperature egg whites and a very clean bowl and beaters.

Pavlova

4 large egg whites, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 220ยบ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat

1. Whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium speed until the egg whites are quite foamy. Turn the mixer up to high and very slowly add the sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.

2. Divide the meringue into 6-8 even dollops at least 2 inches apart and with the back of a spoon gently shape them into circles with indentations in the center (to hold all of the yummy filling). Alternately, spread the whole amount of meringue into one large circle about 10-inches wide.

3. Bake the meringue until it is crisp on the outside and set, 60-80 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the door open, then cool the pavlova completely in the oven completely.

Meyer Lemon Cream

adapted from Tartine Bakery's Lemon Cream

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons meyer lemon juice

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup sugar

pinch salt

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1.  Pour about 2 inches of water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat

2. Combine the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely over the water without coming into contact with the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180ยฐ F on a thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Remove the bowl from over the water and let the mixture cool to 140ยฐ F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.

4. Meanwhile, cut butter into tablespoon-sized pieces. When the cream is cooled transfer it to a blender and with the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will be pale yellow and opaque and quite thick.

Chill the lemon cream completely, then in a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream. Fold the half of the whipped cream (reserve the other half for garnish if desired) 

into the lemon cream and chill until ready to fill the pavlova.

To Serve

Supremed segments of 2-3 pink grapefruit (depending on size) arils from one pomegranate.

Stir the lemon cream to loosen. Fill each pavlova with a few generous spoonfuls of cream then top with grapefruit segments and pomegranate arils. Garnish with reserved whipped cream if desired. Enjoy immediately.