Monday, November 26, 2007

Ask Mary: Egg Separation

Hi Mary,
How do I separate an egg without breaking the yolk?

Have you ever read a recipe that asks you to separate the egg white from the egg yolk and panicked? You’re not alone. Clean egg separation is a task that takes patience and practice. Are you up to the challenge?

I think it is always best to crack the egg on a solid surface with a single, hard firm hit. Repeated strikes against the surface will increase your chances of breaking the yolk, making a mess of your whites. Skillful separation is an important skill because many recipes will ask you to whip the whites. And, if there is any yolk residue in the whites, the eggs will not whip (fat from the yolk prevents proper whipping).

There are a lot of expensive gadgets designed to assist you in this task, but honestly, they are not worth the price tag. Simply relax and let your hands do job. My favorite way to ensure perfect egg separation is to let the whites drip slowly through my fingers, all the while keeping the yolk in the shell. Sure, it’s sticky. But getting messy is part of the fun!

Happy Cooking, Mary

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