We've featured a few recipes lately that call for using only part of an egg—five yolks to make zabaglione, for example, and three whites for meringue clouds. Which leads to a whole lot of wasted food if you don't figure out what to do with those unused whites and yolks.
You can store leftovers in the fridge for a few days, but what if you don't want to quickly follow up meringue with custard or ice cream? The answer: Freeze them.
Egg whites, which last up to 4 days in the refrigerator, are easy to freeze: Spoon them into an ice cube tray, one egg white per cube. Freeze them, pop them out, and store them in a freezer-safe container. Thawed egg whites can be used in any recipe—if you use them for meringues, you might need to add a bit more cream of tartar to get them to whip up well.
Yolks last only 2 days in the fridge. They're a little fussier to freeze, too—they get thick and gelatinous if packed straight into the freezer. Stir in a pinch of salt or a small spoonful of sugar, however, and they're good to go. Be sure to mark on the freezer container whether they were treated with salt or sugar, so you'll know how to use them! Thawed yolks don't work well in baked goods, but they're fine for almost anything else: Save them for puddings, custards, ice cream, or pasta, or add them to scrambled eggs, French toast, omelets and fritattas.
To use the frozen yolks or whites, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. When using yolks, be sure to adjust your recipe to account for the salt or sugar already mixed in with the yolks.
Here are a few recipes using either egg yolks or whites:
Sweet Potato Nuggets
The Best Spiced Nuts
Rose Meringue Clouds
Marshmallow Cake Towers