Having a wide variety of egg recipes is always a good idea when you have a lot of hens.  Not only those recipes that use whole eggs, but recipes for whites and yolks as well.  Egg whites I don’t really have a problem finding uses for, but the yolks…

The best way to use egg yolks it seems, is to make custards and puddings.  These are seriously yummy, but all seem to require tempering the yolks, a process that gives me the shivers.  I’m sure it’s just a mindset since I have a friend who whips up a custard for a family dessert anytime she’s in the mood for it, while I would be in a panic for days if I had to do that.  Give me meringue or a soufflé anytime, you deal with the puddings.

Still, I have to have some way to use up yolks, and if I’m just not able to gird my loins for making a custard, I use some of these much less concerning recipes.

broken eggCredit: http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

Very quick uses

Add extra egg yolks to pumpkin pie to increase the richness.  I wouldn’t do more than two or you risk altering the structure of the custard.

Add extra egg yolks to any cake, again, no more than two.

Hollandaise Sauce

  • 2 yolks
  • ½ cup butter cut into small pieces
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or tobacco sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

This does require tempering, but it’s the first thing you do, so if you mess up and make scrambled eggs you can always throw the overcooked yolks to the chickens and start again.

Put two eggs in a metal bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of cold water.  Slowly heat the water while beating the eggs.  You don’t want the water to boil, and the edges of the bowl shouldn’t get hot.  Keep beating until the yolks have thickened and the color is a light creamy yellow.  Remove from heat

Add the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking it in until it melts.  Continue until all the butter has been added.  You should have a beautiful thick sauce at this point.

Add the salt, cayenne and lemon juice.

Hollandaise sauce should be served immediately or it starts to break down.

Pound cake

Yum, pound cake!  And what could be better than making your pound cake even richer by using all yolks instead of whole eggs?  I’m giving you a recipe, but there is nothing special about it; you could use your own favorite pound cake recipe, subbing in four egg yolks for three eggs (or five yolks for four eggs).  The yolks add a rich yellow color to the cake, making it perfect for lemon flavoring.

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour or light gluten free flour blend
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy

Mix in the lemon zest, juice, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon flavorings

Mix the flour, salt and baking soda together and add them to the batter, alternating with the milk until it’s all blended together.

Pour into a Bundt pan (has a hole in the middle) and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or butter knife into the center to see if it comes out clean.  If your test implement comes out with goo stuck to it, put the cake back in for five minutes and test again.  When baking with gluten free flours I find they always need more baking time so I don’t start testing until it’s baked for 50 minutes.

A quick check for doneness is just to look at the cake near the sides of the pan – if it’s pulling away, your cake is probably done.  Stick the knife in just in case.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about an hour, and then on a rack, if you can wait that long.  This very rich cake does not need frosting, but fresh fruit is a nice addition to the plate.

Butter cake

Similar to a pound cake in richness, but with a lighter texture because of the difference in the butter to flour ratio. 

  • 3 cups cake flour (I haven’t tried this with gluten free flour)
  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6-7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk (can use skim milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the vanilla and the egg yolks one at a time, beating each one in.

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together, and sift this into the batter alternating with the milk.  Beat until it’s all mixed together.

Pour into two nine inch cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  At about 20 minutes start peeking in the oven to see if the sides of the cake are pulling away from the pan.  When this has started happening, check for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of the cake and looking for gooey bits stuck to it.  When the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.

Let the cakes cool on a rack, removing from the pan after 10 minutes or so.  When they have completely cooled, cover with your favorite frosting, such as a lovely buttercream made with….egg yolks.

Buttercream frosting (uses raw egg yolks)

  • Beat 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar  with 6 or 7 egg yolks.
  • Beat in 1 cup of unsalted butter that is warm/room temperature and cut into very small pieces.  Do this a few pieces at a time.
  • Add in a pinch of salt and 1 Tablespoon of vanilla.

You want your frosting to be easy to spread, so if what you have seems too thick you can make it more spreadable by adding milk a few drops at a time.

If you’re squeamish about raw eggs, or you don’t have any more yolks, my mom would make this frosting with just the sugar, butter, vanilla and milk.  I believe you creamed the butter and sugar together, then add the milk a drizzle at a time until your frosting is the consistency you like.