There are two schools of egg lovers: those who like a soft yolk and those who want theirs cooked to a yellow chalk. Only one of those schools-the soft yolk one- counts in my book. Though it sounds counter-intuitive, soft yolk lovers can enjoy a hard-boiled egg. They just have to learn the 9-minute method of preparation so that their egg retains a little of the undercooked velvet of a real yolk. The secret is cold water. Here’s how:
Fill a medium pot with cool water until your eggs are just covered.
Bring water to a gentle boil. Immediately cover your pot and remove it from the heat.
Set your timer for 9 minutes and let the eggs steam, covered and off the heat, for exactly that long.
While your eggs steam, prepare your ice bath. Start with ice.
Then add cold water.
When your 9 minutes are up, immediately transfer the eggs to your ice bath. The cold water shocks the eggs, halting the cooking process and preserving your slightly soft yolk.
The ice bath does one more magical thing. It separates the shell from the albumen, that thin, clingy membrane that refuses to pick a side when you try to separate egg from shell. You can blame the albumen for all those times you’ve taken off chunks of white with your peel and ending up with a sad, pockmarked egg.
After its ice-water dip, your peel will slip off easily and in large pieces. Congrats, you’ve freed your alabaster prize from its jealous, jagged shell.
How pretty are those yolks? Farmer’s market eggs are the way to go when possible. You won’t find that color anywhere else. Or if you do, let us know!