I feel kind of silly asking this question. I've always thought you weren't supposed to overmix anything or it will be tough, especially when there are eggs involved. I've applied this philosophy to pancakes (rightly so), cake batters (but leave fewer lumps than pancakes), breadmaking (although I've only just started making bread, and none yet with egg), cookies, etc. Most of my food turns out pretty darn good. I'm just always wondering if I'm making the best version possible of anything I'm making.
Recently, I saw a recipe for French Silk Pie, with raw eggs, and the instructions to beat for 15 minutes on high to get a truly creamy consistency. (I haven't made this yet, but am wanting to.) Which made me question everything I ever thought I knew about mixing.
So, my question, I guess, is... when is beating the heck out of something the right thing to do? Is there a rule of thumb for mixing?