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Don’t be chicken with goose eggs

By Staff | Feb 1, 2013

EMILY PFALTZGRAFF prepares batter to make spaetzle using goose eggs in her family’s rural Franklin?County home.



HAMPTON – For most people when they say they have a goose egg, they are referring to a welt, especially a bump on the head.

Then there is the goose egg reference that is used in place of the number zero.

But if you are listening to Emily Rose Pfaltzgraff, 23, talk about having a goose egg, she is telling about an actual egg that was laid by a real goose. She has experience with geese and their eggs that goes back at least 10 years.

PFALTZGRAFF HOLDS a goose egg (the largest one), a speckled turkey egg, a brown chicken egg and blue duck eggs, all from the poultry at her home.

Pfaltzgraff’s mother, Allyson Pfaltzgraff, said she and her three children were into a feed store in Stillwater, Minn., more than 10 years ago when the family was living in western Wisconsin. The owner had two goslings left over from Easter that he was afraid he would not be able to sell.

He offered the goslings for free to the Pfaltzgraff family if they would buy the feed from him.

Allyson Pfaltzgraff knew her three children were ready to take the goslings home, and that was the beginning of raising geese.

The Pfaltzgraff family moved to Iowa in 2007 when Emily Pfaltzgraff’s father, George Pfaltzgraff, a surgeon, took a position with a clinic in Iowa Falls.

They moved to an acreage between Hampton and Bradford in Franklin County and brought their geese with them.

GOOSE EGGS are the common ingredient in these recipes which are, from left, Mexican flan, lemon curd cheesecake, quiche and blackberry pie.

Pfaltzgraff is the youngest family member and a graduate of St Olaf College, in Northfield, Minn. She has a strong interest in environmental issues and home-raised food.

The mother-daughter team uses a rule of thumb that says one goose egg can replace three chicken eggs.

“Egg sizes vary so much on the farm,” Emily Pfaltzgraff said. “We recommend playing around with recipes.

“A lot of times a little more egg doesn’t hurt a recipe anyway, so be brave.”

Pfaltzgraff likes to improvise when cooking, which her mother says is a good habit when using goose eggs.

EMILY PFALTZGRAFF is serving a meal with spaetzle in the foreground, blackberry pie, Mexican flan, quiche and lemon curd cheesecake.

Allyson Pfaltzgraff said, “Cooking with goose eggs is not for the faint of heart.”

A cook’s first experience with a goose egg will be cracking it open and seeing the thickness of the shells.

“People should know not to try breaking goose eggs on the edge of a bowl like any normal chicken egg,” said Emily Pfaltzgraff.

Allyson Pfaltzgraff said to not make something using goose eggs for the first time when trying to impress someone. Experiment with the goose eggs to learn their characteristics first.

For example, goose eggs whites are not runny like a chicken egg.

WHEN PFALTZGRAFF gathers eggs, it is not limited to goose eggs, but will include turkey, duck, guinea hen and chicken eggs.

“They have substance,” said Allyson Pfaltzgraff.

She said a goose egg will not make fluffy cakes. An angel food cake made with goose eggs will be more like a sponge cake.

Emily Pfaltzgraff said she would not use a goose egg to make a souffle.

“The goose egg is more similar to duck and turkey eggs,” she said. “They are richer, and over- all thicker than chicken eggs.

“If you fry one up, it will be a whole meal, and cook it slowly on low heat and it won’t be tough (the same with any egg).”

For anyone wanting to try using goose eggs, but having trouble locating them, the Pfaltzgraffs have a steady supply from their geese picking four a day from their five females from now through July.

Emily Pfaltzgraff’s email is emrose.pfz@gmail.com and she can be contacted by telephone at (641) 456-4040.


1 goose egg

1 cup flour

A couple splashes of milk

Blend egg yolk and whites, and mix with flour, adding just enough milk to make thick pancake-type batter. Drop spaetzle into spaetzle lid and press through with spatula, or try using a colander and spatula, or even a ricer. Batter/dough should fall into boiling water and make small little pasta tidbits. Remove to drain and butter generously before serving.

Homemade egg noodles

1/3 cup olive oil

3/4 cup evaporated milk

3 goose egg yolks or 1 cup (approximately 12 chicken yolks)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

Combine first five ingredients into mixer and mix with flat beater on speed 2 for 30 seconds or until well blended.

Change to dough hook and knead 2 minutes at speed 2 or until dough pulls together. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead 2 minutes.

Press flat and let rest 20 minutes. Cut into 8 to 10 pieces (or refrigerate for up to 2 days) and run through pasta sheet roller to desired thickness.

Separate cut noodles into boiling water (with a splash of olive oil) and cook for 3 to 5 minutes after last addition.

Drain and dress accordingly. Raw cut pasta can also be dried and/or frozen for later use.

Mexican flan

1 1/2 cups egg (2 goose plus 1 chicken egg or 2 goose plus extra goose whites or 8 chicken eggs)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla (or so)

1/2 cup light brown sugar (or so)

Remove chalazas.

The chalaza, found in all eggs, is the small white cloudy wiggle, right up next an egg yolk. It suspends the yolk in the white. The chalaza in a goose egg is bigger, just like the rest of the egg.

Sometimes it is noticeable even at the end of the recipe. If making a recipe that ought to be smooth, like custard, try to remember to pinch out the chalaza so somebody doesn’t get a chewy bite.

Beat eggs until yolks and whites are well blended. Add granulated sugar and salt.

Beat in evaporated milk and vanilla. Sprinkle brown sugar in bottom of 2 quart glass baking pan (minimum); gently pour custard mixture over brown sugar.

Place custard pan in larger glass baking pan containing hot water.

Bake for one hour in 350-degree oven until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Refrigerate overnight.

Spaghetti carbonara

Saute onions and garlic in bacon fat, and add whatever bacon was spared from breakfast.

Beat one goose egg in small bowl, and add some freshly ground pepper and pinch of salt, as well as all the remaining hard cheeses left in the cheese drawer, grated.

Mix egg and cheese into freshly cooked and drained pasta in large bowl, tossing while cheese melts and egg cooks on hot pasta. Add bacon mix and toss.

Serve immediately; best eaten fresh.

Fruit pie filling

3-4 cups fresh or frozen fruit such as black raspberries and strawberries (or so)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 large egg (chicken, goose or anything in between)

1 teaspoon lemon juice (or so)

1 teaspoon vanilla (or so)

1 teaspoon salt

Pour sugar over fruit to start (break frozen berries apart, but do not thaw) and continue adding all ingredients.

Mix gently, but thoroughly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add filling to prepared pie crust and top with lattice crust or crumbles to cover.

Bake 40-50 minutes (or so) until center of pie does not jiggle when moved and crust has browned.

Note: Berry pie usually tastes better on the second or third day (if it lasts that long).

Easy cheesecake with lemon curd


1 goose egg

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup lemon juice

Zest from lemons (be gentle to avoid bitter pith)

1/2 stick butter, softened

Whisk eggs in top of double boiler until smooth. Whisk in sugar and lemon juice.

Place over a pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, up to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in zest and tabs of butter until evenly blended. Cool, cover, and store until use.


2 8-ounce packages softened cream cheese (room temp)

1 goose egg (room temp)

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (or so)


1 package graham crackers (technically nine cracker sheets)

4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush graham crackers into crumbs, add melted butter and stir thoroughly.

Press into buttered cheesecake pan. Bake 10 minutes and remove to cool on rack.

Decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Beat cream cheese with blender until creamy and blend in remaining ingredients.

Pour into pan, bounce on counter to remove air bubbles, and return to oven for 45 minutes or so until firm or sides begin to separate from pan.

Let cool on rack, refrigerate, and top with curd before serving, or for another round in the fridge.

Basic herb quiche

Pie dough for one 9-inch crust

1 1/2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss, mozzarella)

1/2 cup ricotta, feta, cottage, or goat cheese

2 goose eggs

1 cup cream

3 teaspoons dried herbs of your choice or 3 Tablespoons fresh (dill, parsley, oregano, etc.)

Any additions of mushrooms or sausage or spinach or broccoli or sauteed onions and garlic or anything (you are only limited by how deep your pan is)

Small baking dish for any overflow quiche filling

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line quiche/pie pan with dough. Place grated cheeses in pie shell.

In blender, measure cream; add eggs, soft cheese, and herbs. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes.

Add sauted vegetables and any others over cheeses in pan.

Pour blended mixture over filling.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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