Tomorrow is Snark's birthday, so I was making some deviled eggs, and at long last, I've found the timing that did the trick for hard-boiled eggs. For some reason, the times most people suggest for the supposedly foolproof cold-start method seem to give me overcooked eggs. Very sad! Today's, though, were just right--no grey ring around the yolk, yolks cooked through absolutely but no more. It didn't hurt that they were farmer's market eggs. The yolks were a brilliant yellow as well as being cooked the perfect amount.
Here's what worked for me: Eggs, size large, right out of the fridge into the bottom of the pan, nestled in so that I couldn't have fit another in a single layer in the pan in question, but not really packed tight, and covered with cold water about 3/4" above the tops of the eggs. Pan partly covered, over a high flame. When I noticed the water had come to a boil (because I heard a little clunk of the eggs bumping), I turned the flame off immediately and covered the pan entirely. Then I set the timer for twelve minutes. When it went off, I used a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water, with plenty of ice.
If you want to be really particular, you can make an effort to center your yolks before you boil the eggs. I've read a few different suggestions for this: store the eggs tip-down, or tip the carton on its side, or give the eggs a spin before you cook them. Anyone have personal testimony about the effectiveness of any of these techniques? If you'd like my exceedingly simple deviled egg recipe, read on. (I expect everyone already has a perfectly good idea of how to make deviled eggs, but hey, why not?)
VERY BASIC DEVILED EGGS
Eight eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of your favorite mustard
Splash of vinegar
Squirt of hot sauce
Once you've cooked and peeled them, cut your eggs in half. Arrange the empty whites, open side up, on a platter. Pop out the yolks into a bowl and mash them thoroughly with a fork. Then mix in the other ingredients, aside from the paprika, and adjust to taste. Spoon the yolk mixture back into the hollows of the eggs and sprinkle paprika over all. For very best results, make at least a couple of hours before you intend to eat them, then cover (ideally, use a couple of toothpicks to hold plastic wrap away from the surface of the eggs) and refrigerate. The extra time helps the flavors to meld and also makes the filling settle in and grab onto the whites, for a more cohesive experience.