When you prepare a recipe that calls just for yolks or whites, have you ever thrown the leftovers down the sink just because you didn’t know what you can prepare with them, or because you don’t have extra time to cook/bake anything else?
Have you ever felt a little guilty for this little waste? No worries. There are ways to preserve fresh yolks and whites from a few days up to six months. I’ll tell you how.
But first of all, some advice on…
How to distinguish fresh eggs
First method: the glass of water.
Put the eggs in a glass bowl of salty water (a tablespoon of salt will do) and just watch for a few seconds. If the egg sinks to the bottom of the glass (as in the pic) it is a good one. If it floats, probably it is a bad one.
Second method: your ear
Shake the egg near to your ear. If you hear some noise, it means that the egg is not perfectly fresh.
Third method: the touch
Fresh eggs’ shells are rough and chalky (first pic), while old eggs are smooth and shiny (second pic)
Fourth method: the “candling”
Historically practiced by dealers, this method is carried out in a darkened room, holding the egg between your eyes and a light. A fresh egg has a homogeneous, translucent appearance. Dark spots mean that the egg is not fresh.
Don’t clean the egg surface unless you intend to use it right away. Even so, clean just the edge you’re going to break with a very slightly wet cloth, otherwise the Salmonella enteritidis bacteria will go through the shell directly to the egg and it can cause poisoning, just as if you eat the egg raw.
How to preserve yolks
It is quite simple to preserve yolks. You can chill them in an airtight container for a couple of days if you’re gonna use them quickly. But if you can’t, you can easily freeze them in an airtight container. For a dozen yolks (they fit one cup) you will add a teaspoon of salt and stir well if you’re gonna use them on savory recipes, or a teaspoon of sugar if you want to prepare some sweet treat with them.
Once you have mixed yolks and salt/sugar, instead of a container, you may want to fill an ice tray with them, so that you can use them separately. No problem. I made the test putting one unbroken yolk in an ice tray hole. It fits perfectly and it is practically equal to a tablespoon of the mix yolks-salt/sugar.
This way you are able to take just the yolks you’re gonna need. Besides, the yolks defrost so much quickly.
Cover the ice trays with film and remember to label the yolks with all the necessary facts: date (use the yolks within six months after frozen), sweet/savory (believe me, you don’t want a sweet mayo or a salty golden cake) Defrost in the refrigerator, better the night before. The slower, the better. You should use the frozen yolks within six months.
How to preserve whites
You can keep whites several days in the refrigerator. Just put them in an airtight container. These method is useful, not just because it keeps the whites in good condition for a few days, it makes easier to whip them tight to make macarons, meringues and other cookies.
But if you’re not gonna use them right away, you can also freeze them. If you want to measure them by cups, consider 1 cup = 7-8 whites. I heard it is possible to re-freeze it but I never tried. I’m not sure it’s a good idea.
A few recipes with just whites
Angel food cake
And don’t forget meringues, pavlovas and many other fantastic treats you sure know.
Some recipes with yolks
Pastry cream, English Custard, Cesar salad dressing, Mayonnaise, Hollandaise sauce are very easy to make at home, I highly recommend you to try and make them.
Other uses for yolks
-Mashed potatoes are delicious if you add one or two yolks to the mixture
-The same tip applies to the meat balls
-You can get a beautiful golden puff pastry by brushing it with yolks
-And don’t forget yolks are a nice mask for the dandruff hair and itchy scalp!