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When it comes to preservation techniques salt curing is one of oldest and simplest known to man, especially when talking fish and meat. But what about when it comes to egg yolks?
While eggs and salt curing may seem like strange bed fellows the technique produces remarkably effective results, and if you haven't tried cured, graved or gravel egg yolks, as they are also known, you might just have been missing a trick.
A favourite of Magnus Nilssen in his Faviken cookbook, cured eggs can be the gateway to an extra level of finessing a dish, and let's face it, it's always going to be a talking point having 'cured eggs yolks' slung in cloth hammocks from your kitchen ceiling.
And the wait, from a few hours up to a few months, sounds well worth it for the stunning results – "the yolks take on a saltier, sharper character, a firm but pliable texture, and become an instant flavor booster for just about any dish," according to Epicurious. A perfect way to easily enhance a salad or pasta dish where the solidified yolk can simply be grated on top.
How to Make Cured Egg Yolks:
All you need are three ingredients – egg yolks (as clean as possible with all white removed), and a mix of sugar and salt, in equal parts, sufficient to cover the yolks.
Simply slide your egg yolks into pits made inside the sugar and salt mix housed inside a casserole dish. Cover over with remaining sugar and salt mix, and set aside for approximately 75 minutes at room temperature. When done, brush off the sugar and salt or carefully rinse the yolks being careful not to break them.
The yolks can be left in the mix for much longer if preferred. After a few days they will be so solidified and can be grated onto dishes with a microplane. In fact Jane Levi gives a progress diary on the condition of her egg yolks, which take a month to reach perfection.
See how it's done: