Monday, April 27, 2015

Pastuerized Eggs/Egg Whites

Going back to "old family recipes" is not without suprises. Several things I enjoyed growing up contained raw eggs.  Last week, in anticipation of making dinner for my Mom, I tried one of her favorite recipes, Snow Pudding. Warning, if an old family recipe does not have an accompanying photo, it may not be fully vetted.  I got as far as whipping the eggs when I realized something was wrong, was I  really going to feed my Mom raw eggs?  Granted while the chance of ingesting samonella from the raw eggs of conventional battery-caged chickens is quite high, the chance of ingesting samonella from the raw eggs of organic free range chickens is very low/negligible.  I really wasn't worried about the eggs I had just gotten from our neighbor. Even so, I decided to be ultra cautious especially since salmonella is particularly dangerous to the very young, very old and people with weakened immune systems.

Next question was do pastuerized egg whites whip well?  Harold McGee writes in On Food and Cooking, Three safer alternatives to fresh eggs are eggs pasteurized in the shell, liquid eggs and dried egg whites, all of which are available in supermarkets.....For most uses, these products do an adequate job of replacing fresh eggs, though there is usually some loss in foaming or emulsifying power and in stability to further heating; and heating and drying do alter the mild egg flavor."1  Comments on the internet suggest these products usually do whip well but take longer to do so and sometimes require the addition of cream of tatar.  A stand mixer whipped the liquid egg whites I had purchased to stiff peaks in 3-4 minutes and the egg whites held firm as I beat in the additional ingredients required for Snow Pudding. I did add 1/4 t cream of tartar for 2/3 c of egg whites (the equivalent of 4 eggs), but I'm not sure this was entirely necessary given the brand of eggs and type of mixer I used.

1. Page 83, 2004 edition.

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