Egg yolks are the bane of my life. If you are an enthusiastic Angel Food cake maker like myself, into egg white omelets or perhaps have a penchant for meringues, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
What to do with those pesky yolks? Many freeze them, but I’m not such a fan. Unlike the trusty egg white, I find they don’t freeze that well at all, defrosting into an opaque, glutinous glob totally lacking any culinary appeal.
They are best used within a few days of being separated. But in what? When there’s only one or two involved it’s relatively simple to enrich the next morning’s scrambled eggs or give Fido a tasty treat at dinnertime.
There are even some who swear by the hair conditioning qualities of egg yolks. Mix with honey or olive oil; apply to dry ends and then shampoo out after 30 minutes.
Make an Angel Food cake — and you’re stuck with 12 of them winking at you.
May I suggest that it comes down to a planning issue. If, for example, I’m making a lemon meringue pie, than homemade ice cream will inevitably be made as well that day or the next. The six egg whites required for the pie’s meringue topping coincidently correlates nicely to the six egg yolks needed for the ice cream.
Similarly, those 12 remaining yolks from the Angel Food are brilliant in a Crema Catalana (think creme brulee) or Brittany Cake (a buttery-rich cake). If you’re plotting a hazelnut Vacherin (those gorgeous meringue cups flowing with whipped cream and fruits) then think Hollandaise sauce for the asparagus or eggs bennie for the following day.
The yolks may not freeze so well but some of the many things you can turn them into do. Any number of sauces come to mind: Mayonnaise, béarnaise, cream anglaise, hollandaise and so on.
Ice cream is of course my all time favorite, and I’ve supplied a recipe below.
Homemade Ice Cream
1 Ľ cups (300ml) thick cream
1 Ľ cups (300ml) milk
1 vanilla bean split (or 2 tsp./10ml vanilla essence)
6 egg yolks
1 cup (250ml) castor sugar
Place cream and milk in a saucepan. Scrape in vanilla seeds with bean (or 1 tsp./5ml of essence) and very slowly bring to a boil. Set aside for about 15 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.
Beat egg yolks, 1 tsp. (5ml) of vanilla essence in an electric mixer until pale and creamy.
In a clean saucepan, add beaten egg yolks and cream/milk mixture. Over a low heat, stir constantly until slightly thickened.
Set aside to cool and then refrigerate in a plastic container. When totally cool, place in freezer. (If you have an ice cream maker, add mixture at this point and follow instructions.)
When frozen around edges, remove mixture from freezer and beat thoroughly with an electric mixer. If you wish to add your favourite flavours such a fresh diced peaches, crumbled Snickers bars, maple syrup etc. Or leave plain for the purist.
Re-freeze until solid.
Yield: Makes approximately 4 cups (1L).