Okay, this is my take on a classic eggs benedict recipe. I call it classic because It’s made with the usual ingredients. A typical Eggs Benedict recipe consists of an English muffin with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and is topped with hollandaise sauce. I played around with hollandaise sauce recipes and came up with one that in my opinion is the perfect blend of creamy butter, smooth egg yolks, and a hint of vinegar. This indulgent combination of perfectly poached egg with a smooth, silky hollandaise sauce is breakfast or brunch perfection.
Making this recipe at home may sound intimidating if you have never made a poached egg or homemade hollandaise sauce before. With a few quick tips, you can master this recipe in no time.
WHAT MAKES A CLASSIC EGGS BENEDICT RECIPE?
A classic eggs benedict recipe is a poached egg with Canadian bacon on an English muffin topped with hollandaise sauce. There are many variations that include using leftover ham, bacon, or even salmon to replace Canadian bacon. I love having eggs benedict the morning after a holiday with leftover ham.
All variations are equally delicious, switch up whatever you choose, except the sauce. The key to success with this recipe is perfecting the sauce, and poaching the eggs properly.
HOW TO POACH AN EGG
Poaching an egg is the process of cooking an egg swirled in water for a few minutes. This will cook the egg, the swirl or vortex, helps the egg hold it’s shape. Leaving it in to cook for a only a few minutes will cook the outside and leave the yolk perfectly runny when broken.
- Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water and add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
- Bring the water to a low boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl.
- With a large heatproof spoon, swirl the simmering water in one direction creating a vortex in the center of the pot.
- Drop the egg into the center of the swirl or vortex.
- Let the egg cook for about 3-5 minutes. The outside of the egg should appear white and not translucent.
- Remove from pot and let sit on a plate until ready to serve. Continue with the rest of the eggs.
Practice with a few eggs to get the technique down and timing down so it is cooked to your liking.
HOW TO MAKE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
A perfectly blended hollandaise sauce uses clarified butter and egg yolks. Some of this process is optional. There are many recipes out there that use regular butter and a blender to mix. I have had the best luck with the stovetop method.
The clarified butter works well for hollandaise sauce, it gets rid of the milk solids and uses the fat-only portion (clarified butter). This helps the mixture blend well and keep its smooth consistency longer.
I prefer to make mine on the stovetop for a few reasons. Whisking the egg yolks on low heat will cook them enough to kill any bacteria. The blender version uses hot butter to temper the eggs which can kill bacteria as well. The constant whisking only takes a few minutes and creates a thick and creamy sauce.
CLASSIC EGGS BENEDICT RECIPE STEPS:
POACHING THE EGGS
- In a medium saucepan or pot, bring water with 1 tsp vinegar to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium keeping the water at a simmer, stir the water to create a vortex swirl in the enter of the pot.
- Drop each egg one at a time into the vortex.
- Cook each egg for about 3 minutes.
- When done, scoop them out of the pot and set them aside.
PREPARING THE BUTTER
- Place one stick of room temperature butter into a small saucepan on low heat. Stir and melt the butter, increase the temperature of butter to medium/low. Let the butter simmer for about 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes remove the saucepan from heat. Drain the butter with a small strainer into a small bowl. This will remove the milk solids from the butter and leaving the full fat or clarified butter.
- Once in the bowl, add lemon juice, salt, and white pepper to the butter and set it aside.
WHISKING THE EGG YOLKS
- Place the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar into a small saucepan. Place the saucepan on the lowest heat setting.
- Whisk the eggs continuously for a few minutes, or until the egg mixture starts to thicken.
- Once the egg mixture is thickening, add the butter slowly while whisking.
- Continue to whisk for about another minute or two, until the mixture is as thick as you like. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
- Once the mixture is at desired thickness immediately remove the sauce pan from heat and place sauce in a bowl.
ASSEMBLING THE EGGS BENEDCIT:
Place both sides of a lightly toasted English muffin face up on a plate. You can butter the English muffin or spread a little hollandaise sauce. Add a slice of Canadian bacon on each of the muffins. Place a poached egg on the Canadian bacon. Drizzle hollandaise sauce over the top of the eggs and top with chives.
TIP: If the eggs get cold you can place them back in the pot of simmering water for a few seconds to warm. Or, place it in the microwave to heat up for just a few seconds. Too much reheating can overcook the yolks.
CAN YOU MAKE EGGS BENEDICT AHEAD OF TIME?
I suggest making it fresh and NOT storing it. If the sauce gets cold or congeals, you can add some melted butter and whisk a little more to get it smooth again. Do not reheat this sauce in the microwave. Unless you like hollandaise scrambled eggs, which I’ve done and doesn’t taste too terrible. 😉
Classic Eggs Benedict Recipe
For the poached eggs:
- 4 eggs
- 1 medium sauce pan halfway filled with water
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
For the Hollandaise Sauce:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Pinch of white pepper or regular pepper
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt to taste
- chopped chived optional
- To Assemble
- 2 english muffins
- 4 slices Canadian bacon
- 4 poached eggs
- hollandaise sauce
- PREPARING THE EGGS
- Take out the butter and eggs, butter can sit at room temperature while you crack the eggs.
- Crack the eggs into a small separate bowl (or separate each one in a tiny bowl). Let butter sit at room temperature while you cook the eggs.
- Fill a medium pot or large saucepan halfway to 2/3 full of water and add 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar. Turn the heat on high and bring water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium to keep the water at a simmer. With a heatproof spoon, swirl the water in one direction in the pot to create a swirling vortex in the center.
- Drop each egg one at a time into the vortex and let cook in the pot for about 3 minutes. The vortex helps the egg hold its shape. The egg is done when the outside appears solid white and no longer translucent.
- When each egg is done, remove it from the pot and place it on a plate until ready to serve.
MAKING THE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE:
- In a small saucepan heat the butter on low heat to melt. Once melted increase the temperature to medium/low heat to bring to a simmer. Simmer the butter for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. After 5 minutes, remove the pot from heat and strain the butter over a small sieve or mesh strainer into a bowl. This will separate the milk solids from the butter. Or, you can skim the top to remove the white milk solids that form. Set butter aside.
- Rinse and dry the saucepan, place it back on the stovetop and turn the heat to low.
- Add the egg yolks and 1 tsp white wine vinegar.
- Whisk immediately and continuously for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Slowly add the melted butter into the egg mixture and continue to whisk for another minute or two.
- Add white pepper and salt to taste.
- Remove from heat as soon as it reaches desired consistency.
- Lightly toast the English muffins and set them on a plate and top them with Canadian bacon. Place a poached egg on top of each piece of Canadian bacon. Drizzle hollandaise sauce over the eggs and top with chives.
That is my take on the classic eggs benedict recipe. As you can see from the image, the egg yolk oozes out and mixes with the hollandaise sauce, and it’s perfect.
This recipe can easily be switched up. You can substitute the Canadian bacon for salmon or regular bacon, use any kind of bread, or even add some spice to the hollandaise sauce. Use your favorites and make it your own.
What’s your favorite breakfast/brunch recipe? Drop a comment below 🙂