Up until recently I didn’t realise I could actually preserve all my excess eggs. Well…that’s not quite true. I knew that in the past (according to my mother), people used to preserve them with water glass (this is back in the days of meat safes & root cellars, where refrigeration wasn’t the norm & they needed some way of keeping eggs fresh for longer than a couple of weeks). But I didn’t have the supplies necessary to do it & didn’t feel like rocking up to my local chemist & try to persuade them to get some chemicals in for me so I could preserve eggs (I have quickly learned that not everyone shares my passion for backyard, free range chooks & homegrown eggs…after all, why would I want to preserve eggs when I can just buy them? Yeah).
So I have been enjoying fresh eggs most of the time but chook laying & my baking schedule don’t always coincide. I’ve been giving away excess to friends, making do with less while the birds have been broody, & resorting to buying eggs during winter when they’re in the moult (& not laying).
That is, until now.
I recently learned you can freeze eggs & will be doing this to tide us over during the winter months. After all – why pay for eggs when I have the best organic, free range eggs from happy, 100% free range, non debeaked, heritage breed, bred on my property chooks in my own backyard?! So…for my own info later on & for viewers at home, here’s how to do it:
Raw eggs in shell
These can actually be frozen whole – they won’t explode! But they might crack during freezing & they’re very prone to cracking when cooked. Best to discard any eggs that have cracked when frozen. Will keep for 2 months. Personally, I think it’s safer to freeze without the shells on.
Raw eggs, no shell – whole
Mix whole eggs together (don’t add air when mixing – just stir enough to combine). Pour into ice cube trays & freeze. After they’re frozen, take them out of the ice cube trays & store in a zip lock bag in the freezer. Most online sources say 1 ice cube = approx 1 egg but eggs & ice cube trays differ, so pour a known quantity into a tray to determine just how many cubes = 1 egg. You can also add sugar/salt (see below) to help stop them thickening when they freeze. Don’t need any standing time after thawing. Will keep for approx 6 months.
Raw eggs, no shell – separated into white & yolk
Freeze one white per ice cube so you can easily measure them later (I’ve also read that if you mix them all together, then 2 cubes of white + 1 cube of yolk = 1 egg…but if you compare with the measure above, this would actually be 3 eggs. Maybe experiment with your eggs & see how they measure when put into an ice cube tray separately).
For yolks, add 1/2 tsp salt or 1 1/2 tsp sugar per 4 egg yolks & mix – the salt/sugar stops them thickening when they freeze. Don’t forget to label if they’re sweet or savory & you’ll need to take into account the sugar/salt already added when you use them for baking.
Let the whites sit for 30 mins after thawing – they’ll beat better. But souffles & omelettes still won’t rise quite as well as they would with fresh eggs. Again, it’s important not to whip the eggs when you’re mixing them…just stir enough to break the membrane & combine…don’t add air to the mix. Frozen raw eggs will keep for 6 months (roughly).
Hard boiled eggs in shell
Hard boil eggs with a little salt. Allow eggs to cool. Place into freezer-safe containers & freeze. Will keep for approx 1 year.