If you–or whomever cooked in your home–grew up in the Midwest, there’s a good chance you prefer your deviled eggs made with sweet salad dressing and perhaps even sweet relish. Tart, savory deviled eggs won’t taste right to you. If, however, you were raised on savory deviled eggs, as I was, sweet ones may seem an abomination, as they do to me. And if you have what I’ll call an adventurous or even promiscuous palate, take a look at “Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy” by Debbie Moose (Harvard Common Press, 2004, $12.95), which takes deviled eggs where they’ve never been before. This version is quite similar to the one I’ve been making since I first began cook, when I was 8.
Please note that you can use all mayonnaise (4 tablespoons) instead of a combination of mayonnaise and creme fraiche. It will be delicious just not quite as voluptuous.
Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Transfer the yolks to a small bowl and set the whites aside.
Mash the yolks with a fork until quite fine, add the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and mustard and mix thoroughly.
Season with salt, pour the lemon juice over the salt to dissolve it, season with black pepper and mix well. Taste and correct the seasoning.
Use a teaspoon to fill each egg white with the egg yolk mixture, set on a platter and serve or consult the topping suggestions below before serving.
To cook the eggs, carefully set them in a deep saucepan, cover with water by at least three inches and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Simmer for five minutes, cover, remove from the heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 17 to 20 minutes, the shorter time for the smaller eggs, etc. Drain the hot water, top the eggs with a scoop or two of ice cubes and fill the pan with cool water. Crack each egg, one at a time, against a sink or other hard surface, cracking it gently all over to loosen but not remove the shell. Let sit in the cold water for 15 to 20 minutes, during which time the shells will loosen. Pour off the water, peel the eggs, rinse them to remove bits of shell and dry on a very clean tea towel.