Adapted from Gourmet, November 2009 in Epicurious
The trick to making these look extra cute and sophisticated: slicing the eggs in half width-wise rather than length-wise. They’ll look smaller and dainty this way. (Also, make sure to use large eggs, rather than extra-large or jumbo.) To make sure the eggs stand up and don’t wobble, slice just the barest sliver off each end to form a base.
3 cups water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 small beet, peeled and sliced
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
12 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbl whole grain mustard
1 Tbl finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the water, vinegar, beet, shallot, sugar and bay leaf in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. (To speed up the cooling, place the pan inside a large bowl filled with ice water and stir the pot frequently.)
Place the peeled hard-boiled eggs in a sizable bowl or container and cover with the cooled pickling mixture. Refrigerate 2-3 hours, stirring from time to time.
Remove the eggs from the pickling mixture and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the pickling mixture. Slice a small sliver off the top and bottom ends of each egg. Slice the eggs in half, width-wise. Scoop out the cooked yolks and reserve in a mixing bowl. Carefully rinse the whites under cool running water and place on a double layer of paper towels to dry.
Thoroughly mash the yolks with a potato masher. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and parsley and continue to mash until well combined. Taste the egg yolk mixture and season as needed with salt and pepper. Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a small star tip, with the egg yolk mixture. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg white cups, filling them in a circular motion and forming a small dollop rising above the egg white. Serve at room temperature.