Try these delicious desserts with a small quail egg from Kelly Bohling.
When I started raising quail, I soon found myself inundated with eggs during the warm months. My fridge was stocked with bowls overflowing with quail eggs, and I was quickly running out of options for spinning omelettes and quiches. I needed to find new ways to use my overabundance of quail eggs. That’s when I started using them as a substitute in recipes I already knew and trusted in place of chicken eggs. Many of these recipes were for desserts or other baked goods. I’ve found that quail eggs work surprisingly well in dessert recipes because they impart a wonderfully rich, buttery quality to the flavor.
Quail eggs instead of chicken eggs
Practically, quail eggs can be used instead of chicken eggs in any recipe! Just estimate five quail eggs for every chicken egg, and your tried-and-true recipes are ready for a new depth of flavor. While I enjoy many of my recipes passed down as quail egg shakes, I’ve created a few that are staples in my household.
I will give a caveat to cooking with quail eggs: although it is possible to separate the yolks and whites in recipes that call for it, some types of desserts adapt better than others. When the quail eggs are separated, there will be some contamination of the white with the yolk. I’ve noticed that the white of a quail egg seems to be a bit thicker than a chicken egg and less willing to release the yolk, so there will always be a little trace of yolk in the white. Separating at room temperature seems to help. In my own experience, this trace of contamination makes quail eggs unsuitable for something as finicky as a meringue or angel food cake, which relies on the purity of the egg white for structure and stability. . However, recipes that use whole eggs or separate eggs with the white only whipped to the point of soft peaks will work wonderfully.
Vanilla pudding recipe
In terms of whole egg desserts, the homemade pudding is one of my favorites, and the flavor is deliciously enhanced with quail eggs. You can scale this recipe down to a smaller batch by using two or three quail eggs, which can be a handy way to use the oddball egg here and there when the quail starts laying more regularly in the spring or ends at autumn.
Yield: 4 servings.
5 quail eggs
½ cup) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups of milk (whole is better)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon salted butter (this is a great place to showcase high quality butter)
For a chocolate version, add ¼ cup baking cocoa (whip with other dry ingredients) and stir in a handful of chocolate chips with the butter and vanilla at the very end.
Open the quail eggs in a small bowl and beat well. If you notice any bits of shell, pour them into a second bowl, leaving those bits behind. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Heat the milk over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring continuously until it begins to boil. If left to heat unattended, the milk may burn on the bottom and a skin may form on the top.
Turn off the burner and temper the eggs with ½ cup hot milk. (To temper, whisk the eggs continuously while slowly adding milk in a steady stream. You don’t want to throw everything in at once or stop with the continuous whisk or there will be bits of cooked eggs in your pudding.) Once the eggs are tempered, add them to the sugar and cornstarch mixture. Return it to the saucepan with the remaining milk, whisking well. Turn burner back to medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (only a few minutes).
Remove from heat, add vanilla and butter and stir until incorporated. This pudding is delicious hot or cold and can be topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh fruit or jam. To prevent a skin from forming on top while cooling, cover with a piece of plastic wrap when slightly cooled and press it onto the surface, smoothing from the middle outwards to avoid bubbles. air.
You can also use this pudding recipe and its variations to make pudding pies. It’s best to let the pudding thicken a little longer on the stovetop than if you made it on its own, as this will help hold the shape of the pie once sliced.
Another pudding I make often is rice pudding. This is a great way to use up leftover rice from dinner, and any rice will do as long as it doesn’t contain herbs or seasonings (salt is fine). Calrose rice gives the pudding a deliciously fluffy texture and is my favorite type to use for this pudding.
Yield: 4 to 5 servings.
- 5 quail eggs
- ½ cup sugar (or 1/3 cup if you prefer a less sweet pudding)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups of milk
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted if your rice already contains salt)
Open the quail eggs in a separate bowl and beat well. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch in a separate bowl, then set aside. Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Turn off the burner and temper the eggs. (See Vanilla Pudding recipe above for instructions.) Once tempered, add to bowl with sugar and cornstarch, and mix well. Return this mixture to the saucepan with the remaining milk and add the cooked rice and mix well. Cook over medium heat until thickened (will thicken more as it cools). Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter until well incorporated. I enjoy this pudding best when warm, but it can also be refrigerated, as detailed in the vanilla pudding recipe. Try with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or cloves and a drizzle of honey on top.
- 9-inch pre-baked pie shell
- Vanilla or chocolate pudding from previous recipe, still warm
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipped cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pour the pudding into the pre-baked pie shell, smooth the top and let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the pudding filling from forming a “skin”, smoothing from the center outwards to avoid air bubbles and refrigerate.
Once thoroughly cooled (after a few hours), combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Blend with a hand blender fitted with a whisk attachment until very thick and holds its shape when the blender is removed from the bowl. Carefully remove plastic wrap from pie and top with whipped cream. Cover to the edge of the crust.
You can achieve a “meringue” effect by spooning the whipped cream in and sweeping each with the back of the spoon to create a small peak. For a chocolate pie, top with chocolate shavings or chocolate chips, or drizzle with chocolate sauce. Fresh raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or shredded sweetened coconut would be a great addition on top of vanilla pudding pie.
Quail Egg Brownies
I also want to share a recipe that showcases the decadence of quail eggs. Even though quails are tiny birds, their eggs impart a deep richness, and what better way to pair that flavor than chocolate. I wanted a thick, fudgy brownie with that distinctive chewiness, even in the middle pieces, and the delicate flake layer on top. This recipe gives.
Yield: 9 brownies. (Recipe can be doubled for a 9 inch by 13 inch pan size.)
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into coarse tablespoon-sized pieces
½ cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet chocolate)
10 quail eggs
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 F and grease an 8 inch by 8 inch pan. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and butter, stirring often. To melt in the microwave, combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted melted.
Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Open the quail eggs in their own separate bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the melted butter/chocolate to the dry ingredients, mixing well. Add quail eggs and vanilla. Mix well to incorporate, but do not over mix.
Spread evenly into the pan, using a rubber spatula to encourage the batter into the corners and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Towards the end of baking, you’ll see the brownies “poof” in the middle and then drop back down, indicating it’s time to test the baking.
Remove from the oven (you can sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips for more indulgence) and let cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, or enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
While many people are more familiar with quail eggs in a savory setting, whether at the table or for breakfast, quail eggs are also defending the dessert boundary. Their richness and buttery flavor perfectly complement the sweetness of chocolate, vanilla and fruit. Try these recipes for yourself and find a new favorite treat, or rediscover an old favorite recipe, passed down and cherished for generations, in a new way, with quail eggs!
Kelly Bohling is from Lawrence, Kansas. She works as a classical violinist, but between concerts and lessons she is in the garden or spending time with her animals, including quails and French Angora rabbits. Kelly also turns the angora fiber from her rabbits into knitting yarn. She loves finding ways for her animals and her garden to benefit each other for a more sustainable urban farm.