Piped dreams

For a fluffy, mousselike filling in deviled eggs, use a food processor to combine the yolks with the other ingredients.

The devil’s in the details when it comes to this iconic appetizer.

Cook the eggs for exactly eight minutes, and whir butter into the yolks for pillowy creaminess.

Once you’ve cracked the technique, venture out of your shell with three other please-pinch-me variations.

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“Deviled eggs are such a crowd-pleaser — they have lots of flavor, and you can eat them while balancing a drink. I used to swear by mayo and mustard only, but once you add butter to the filling, you’ll never go back.” — Bocar, Martha Stewart Living food editor at large

RICH DEVILED EGGS

6 large eggs

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Ground paprika, for sprinkling

COOK AND COOL: Prepare an ice bath. In a medium pot, cover eggs with cold water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 8 minutes. Drain and transfer eggs to ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and halve lengthwise.

WHIP UP THE FILLING: Transfer yolks to a food processor. Add mayonnaise, butter and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Process, pausing to scrape sides of bowl, until smooth. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a tip or to a resealable plastic bag.

PIPE AND GARNISH: If using a plastic bag, snip one corner. Squeeze filling into each egg-white half. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

> More delicious dollops

SMOKED TROUT

Blend the yolks with ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 ounce flaked smoked trout (¼ cup), 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Garnish with minced chives.

PESTO

Blend the yolks with ¼ cup pesto, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon on a little more pesto to serve.

SPICED HUMMUS

Blend the yolks with  cup hummus, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon hot sauce. Season with kosher salt. Sprinkle with za’atar and sprouts to serve.

> Raise your egg IQ

1. PREP AHEAD: You can boil the eggs up to a week in advance. Once cool, refrigerate in a resealable plastic bag until ready to peel. You can also cook, peel and halve them, and make the filling, a day ahead. Refrigerate the whites on a plate wrapped in plastic, and the filling in an airtight container.

2. DON’T OVERCOOK: It bears repeating — the whites will get tough and the yolks will turn green. Set a timer for 8 minutes as soon as you remove them from the heat in step 1.

3. BE A NEAT FREAK: For pristine egg halves, wipe the blade of your knife with a dish towel between each slice.

4. SLOW THEIR ROLL: After cooking the eggs and before filling, Martha Stewart cuts a thin slice from the rounded bottom of each half so they won’t slide around (it’s a game changer).

5. GO PRO: Use a star-shaped pastry tip (for a fancy swirl) or a plain round tip (for a soft swoosh) on your pastry bag. Or for a rustic look, just spoon the filling straight into the whites.

6. PAY THEM FORWARD: Deviled eggs are best eaten within an hour of assembly, but if you have leftovers (ha!), refrigerate them in an airtight container and chop them for a sublime egg-salad sandwich the next day.

More recipes and additional tips may be found online at www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood. Questions or comments may be sent to ask.martha@meredith.com.

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