Some people consider Eggs Benedict a fancy breakfast. I say it's just one of those recipes that appears more complicated than it really is. Eggs Benedict was invented at Delmonico's, a New York City restaurant way back in the 1920s. At our house, we consider it essential on Easter morning.
There are four distinct layers to this recipe, but you can also improvise. Here we use Canadian bacon, but you can also improvise with creamed spinach, fried tomatoes, or even artichoke bottoms if you want to go meatless.
Here we use a blender to make the hollandaise sauce. While there is some debate around the safety of Hollandaise sauce due to the use of uncooked eggs. Traditional cooking methods involve “cooking” the eggs over very low heat using a double boiler before whisking in the butter.
With the blender method described below, it is important to start with a very warm melted butter (it should be bubbling, but not scorched). Melting the butter on a stovetop (vs in a microwave) makes it easier to achieve the right temperature without scorching.
In addition it may take a bit of practice to achieve perfectly poached eggs, but really it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
How To Poach an Egg
- Rule #1: No Broken Yolks. The key to poached eggs with a nice runny center is to start with an intact yolk. If you struggle to crack open eggs without breaking the yolk, try giving them a single swift crack against the top of a bowl with a thin (vs. thick or rounded) edge. This creates a clean, thin break that is easy to crack apart without damaging the yolks in the process.
- Rule #2: Use Fresh Eggs. This is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule, because it can be tough to know how fresh the eggs you purchase at your local grocery store are. However, try to use eggs you've recently purchased instead of ones that have been sitting in your refrigerator awhile. Egg whites tend to break down and become runny as they are, so strain your eggs in a fine mesh strainer, as shown, before poaching to work around this.
- After straining, transfer each egg into its own ramekin or small bowl. This will make it easier to add each egg as quickly as possible to the boiling water. Plus, it helps keep the eggs separated from each other if you are poaching multiple eggs at one time.
- Cook time will vary depending on desired level of doneness. I use a 3-minute cook time.
- When done poaching, remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess water. Gently pat before serving.
How to Make the Perfect Eggs Benedict
Steps to Pull it All Together:
- Assemble all ingredients
- Prepare the Hollandaise sauce, then transfer to a heat-proof container. I use a glass canning jar, and set it in a warm water bath to keep warm until ready to serve.
- Poach the eggs per instructions here
- Brown the Canadian bacon while the English muffins are toasting under a hot broiler (watch to avoid burning).
- Assemble and serve immediately
Easy, Delicious Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce
Blender Hollandaise Sauce:
- 6 Tbs Unsalted butter
- 3 Egg yolks
- 1 1/2 Tbs Lemon juice
- 1/8 Tsp Salt
- 1/8 Tsp Cayenne pepper
- 2-3 Cups Warm water
Eggs Benedict Ingredients:
- 4 English muffin bottoms *save tops for another use
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 Cups Water, for boiling
- 4 Large eggs
- 8 Slices Canadian bacon
- Cayenne pepper, for garnish
- 1 Tbsp Fresh chives, chopped
Before starting, prep your work area by doing the following:
- Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet. Butter the English muffin bottoms and place on the prepared baking sheet, as shown. Set aside.
- Line a large plate withpaper towels and set aside.
- Set up a warm water bath to keep the Hollandaise sauce warm by adding two cups very warm water to shallow bowl. (Avoid overly hot water as it can cause the eggs to solidify). Set aside.
- Fill a pot with 6 cups water and set over high heat. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar and bring to a rapid bowl.
- Add six tablespoons butter to a small skillet set over medium heat. Stir until completely melted, then reduce heat slightly to keep warm and bubbly while preparing the sauce.
Make the Hollindaise Sauce
- Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper to a blender and blend on high for 20-30 seconds, then slowly drizzle the warm, melted butter into the blender while it is still running. Continue blending on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce is emulsified and reaches a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Turn off blender. Taste and add additional lemon juice, salt, or cayenne pepper, as desired. Transfer the sauce to a heat-proof container, such as a glass canning jar, and place into the warm water bath until ready to use.
Poaching the Eggs
- Add eggs, one at a time, to a fine mesh sieve, as shown for 2-3 minutes to remove excess liquid. Transfer each egg to a separate ramekin and set aside.
- Drop the strained eggs, one at a time, into the boiling water and poach for 3 minutes. Carefully remove each egg with a slotted spoon and transfer to the plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Warm and brown the Canadian Bacon
- Add the Canadian bacon to a large skillet set over medium heat and heat just until warmed through and browned, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.
Toast the English Muffins
- Place the top oven rack on the second position from the top and set the broiler to high. Place the English muffins under the broiler for approximately 2-4 minutes or until golden brown, rotating once halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
- To serve, assemble by topping the toasted English muffins with two slices of Canadian Bacon and one of the poached eggs. Pour some warm Hollandaise sauce on top and garnish with a small pinch of cayenne pepper and some chopped chives right before serving. Enjoy!