The moral of the story is that the very fresh eggs from hens that roam around the fields in the winter are best eaten in savory, rather than in delicate sweet dishes.
Just before Christmas holidays, our friends and next door neighbors sometimes leave Kea to spend the end of the year festivities with their family in Albania, so Costas undertakes his favorite chore: taking care of their hens and cats.
We wish we could be able to have cats and hens, but, unfortunately, our dog does not permit it…
From the coop every night Costas brings at least five and often seven wonderful eggs, and after a few days we are flooded with an incredibly abundant lot! We enjoy them fried in olive oil, add them to pilafs and risottos, scramble them with whatever vegetable or green we have at hand, and occasionally we made paspala, the traditional Kea winter delicacy.
But mostly we eat them soft-boiled, or in frittatas with grilled squash, onions, peppers, and potatoes. And so, we’ve been using eggs everywhere: we baked quite a few of our favorite cakes, and made a very intensely tart lemon curd too; but still, the eggs keep accumulating in the fridge.
Looking for new sweets that use more than 2-3 eggs, I came across the winter version of Pavlova with Zabaglione Creme, at Saveur. With six eggs needed, almost one day’s crop –the egg whites for the meringue, and the yolks for the sweet-wine flavored cream— the recipe seemed ideal! We made it with poached quince, apples, and raisins, instead of the pineapple, which is not our favorite fruit. The zabaglione crème came out vividly colored, since the yolks of these wonderful eggs are deep orange, but its taste instead of been better than usual, it was far too eggy… We splashed the fruit with plenty of Grand Marnier to compensate, but still, the flavor of the zabaglione was far too strong, something we had not expected.
We were much more satisfied with the next sweet we made; a very unusual Austrian mushed-up pancake called Kaiserschmarrn (see photo at the top). We happened to see it served in a documentary about Vienna cafés and looked for the recipe, which we followed. It was simple enough, and we decided to double the number of liqueur-soaked raisins –used Grand Marnier again, instead of the rum the recipe asks for. We hardly ever make pancakes, but this was a very simple endeavor, and the sweet came out wonderful, if not too photogenic…
The moral of the story, I think, is that the very fresh eggs from hens that roam around the fields in the winter are best eaten in savory dishes.