Anyone who has laying hens knows that they lay far more eggs in the summer than the winter. Well, maybe not if they live near the equator or add light during the winter to induce increased laying.
I learned after having a surplus of eggs in the summer that I couldn't just stick them in the fridge and use them through the winter, especially when we have a long dark winter. Before we sold surplus eggs, I did give some to friends, but I hate buying supermarket eggs in the winter.
Eggs freeze. Not in the shell, but they freeze fine. From my experience, frozen egg yolks tend to be thicker when thawed, and the egg whites thinner. I freeze some eggs separated. I crack them and separate them into ice cube trays. I like to put one yolk or one white per ice cube space. Once they are frozen, I put them in large zip top bags in the freezer and can take what I want when I cook. I don't heat them, but do need to plan ahead a little to let them thaw.
Eggs can also be frozen with both the yolk and the white. I find they have a better consistency if the yolk is broken and swirled around the white a little. I also freeze unseparated eggs individually, but they need larger spaces. Silicone trays are a good option.
Another way to enjoy eggs into winter is to pickle them. I like to use half-gallon jars. Farm fresh eggs can be very difficult to peel. I use eggs that are several weeks old, usually 3-4 weeks or older. That allows the eggs to loose a little moisture. I place them in a large steamer and steam them about 15-20 minutes. Then, I dunk them immediately into ice water. This helps the eggs pull away from the shell. Some shells may even crack.
I let them cool for a few minutes and then peel them in cool water. I put the eggs into the half gallon jar and put the pickling juice in over them. I don't use boiling pickling water as many recipes call for. If I do, it has a tendency to cook the eggs more and can make the outside a little rubbery. I find that it's the soaking in the juice that pickles the eggs. Pickled eggs have lasted six to eight weeks. I think they could last longer but they don't usually make it. I typically make several batches with different flavors for different preferences in my family.
I'm sure there are other ways to preserve eggs. I've heard of oil or water baths and some other techniques that leave me feeling uncomfortable with the quality of the eggs from a food safety point of view. They may be fine, but these are techniques I've found are helpful in evening out summer and winter egg production.
Or, you can keep 60 laying hens or more and you'll probably have plenty of eggs year-round with extras to sell in the summer!
Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.