Despite their notoriety as carriers of Salmonella, very few eggs are actually contaminated. The Georgia Egg Commission estimates that only approximately 1 out of 20,000 eggs contains Salmonella enteritidis. Nevertheless, you may feel safer if you pasteurise your egg yolks before you use them in certain recipes. The pasteurisation process kills any bacteria present in the eggs, leaving them safe to eat and Salmonella-free.
Place the egg yolks you wish to pasteurise into a bowl. Beat them with a fork for a moment until they are fairly well blended.
Pour the egg yolks into a saucepan. Add 2 tbsp of the liquid in your recipe to the saucepan for each egg yolk. If you are using six egg yolks, for example, add 12 tbsp of your liquid to the saucepan. Do not use oil, melted butter or margarine, or a similar liquid for this. Mix the yolks and liquid together thoroughly.
Bring the yolk and liquid mixture to a very gentle bubble over low heat. Stir the mixture constantly as you bring it up to temperature. Do not rush this process or use high heat, as this will cause the eggs to become lumpy and grainy.
Measure the temperature of the mixture with a candy thermometer. It should be at least 71.1 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, the mixture should coat a spoon rather than running off quickly. When the mixture reaches this point, it is pasteurised and you may use it in your recipe.