This foolproof Eggs Benedict recipe contains tips and an easy blender hollandaise sauce to breezily make the popular brunch dish at home!
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Along with crêpes, croissants, and pancakes, Eggs Benedict is undoubtedly a delicious, ubiquitous breakfast classic. I’d say Eggs Benedict should be named to the breakfast hall of fame! Runny eggs, rich sauce, salty ham, and the optional veggie on toasted bread: Eggs Benedict has everything you need to wake up your taste buds and start your day on a delicious note.
But, while Eggs Benedict might be the most requested breakfast dish in restaurants, it can be an intimidating dish to make at home. The culprit: hollandaise sauce. Hollandaise is considered to be one of the five “mother sauces” of French cuisine, and it is made with egg yolks, melted butter, and lemon juice.
One of the reasons that hollandaise sauce might have earned its finicky reputation is that the sauce comes together as an emulsion, that is, the ingredients need to be beaten together properly to fully blend in and create a silky-smooth sauce. If the hot, melted butter is poured too quickly into the yolks, the yolks can “cook” and curdle, creating a sauce with a grainy consistency.
Another reason that hollandaise can be considered a “difficult” sauce is that it’s tricky to keep warm and reheat. Indeed, reheating hollandaise sauce over a heat that’s too strong for the delicate sauce can, again, overheat the egg yolks and curdle the sauce. The best way to go when making homemade Hollandaise is to whip it right before serving, so you can immediately pour it warm over each serving plate. But making hollandaise sauce from scratch at the last minute can be stressful, especially if you’ve never made it before!
Luckily, for those shying away from making Eggs Benedict for any or all of these reasons, my recipe for both the hollandaise sauce and the Eggs Benedict assembly process is foolproof. First, I’ll show you how to make hollandaise sauce in a blender, which means it comes together in seconds. I’ll also provide tips on how to reheat the sauce properly—yes, you could even make your hollandaise sauce in advance. Imagine that!
Second, I guide you through the process of making poached eggs and I provide alternatives if you do not want to cook eggs that way. Finally, I teach you how to prepare all your components, so you can assemble Eggs Benedict in front of your guests without breaking a sweat.
Learning from all my tips and using my foolproof recipe, you’ll finally get to make foolproof Eggs Benedict at home, all while removing stress from the equation. Be warned that it can be a dangerous habit to acquire though: homemade Eggs Benedict is so delicious that you will probably want to make it a habit to start every weekend with the dish!
Prepare all the components and poach the eggs before you make the sauce. The sauce should be the last thing you do because it comes together in seconds. Doing so will allow you to serve the sauce hot and avoid having to reheat it. Since hollandaise sauce is so sensitive to heat, reheating it in a hurry means you could risk splitting or breaking it. It is possible to safely reheat hollandaise sauce though; see my tips to reheat hollandaise sauce below.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a gentle simmer. You should see tiny bubbles coming to the surface of the water, but the water should not come to a strong, rolling boil. Adjust the temperature throughout the cooking process to keep the water very hot but not boiling. Mix in the salt and vinegar.
Crack one egg in a small bowl (make sure not to break the yolk or you won’t be able to poach it) then gently slide the entire egg into the water. Quickly repeat the process to add all 4 eggs to the hot water. (Breaking the eggs in a small bowl before sliding them in the water creates rounder poached eggs and ensures that no broken shell gets in.) Cook the eggs for 3½ minutes for a runny yolk, or for up to 4½ minutes for a slightly set, jammy yolk.
Use a slotted spoon to fish the eggs out, one by one, and set them on a small plate. Transfer this small plate over the warm serving plates in the oven to keep warm.
For a variety of reasons, you might now want to make and serve poached eggs in your Eggs Benedict. Here are substitution ideas for poached eggs in Eggs Benedict:
Making hollandaise sauce in a blender is so easy! Simply combine the egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and salt in the container of a stand blender, and blend until frothy. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly (do not brown). With the blender running, pour in the hot butter in a very thin stream, blending until sauce is thick and emulsified. Voilà, you’re done!
Hollandaise sauce is split when the fat separates from the rest of the sauce, which means that the sauce has lost its emulsion. Hollandaise sauce curdles when it’s overheated, which means the egg yolks have cooked and solidified and the sauce has become grainy.
Here’s how to fix split Hollandaise sauce: adding one egg yolk to the sauce will bring it back together. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp of cold water. Turn the blender back on at low speed. With the blender running, slowly pour the egg yolk/water mixture into the sauce. Mix for 10-15 seconds, and the sauce should be fixed. If you do not have extra egg yolks, you can try whisking in 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) of hot water or heavy cream to bring the sauce back together.
Unfortunately, you can’t fix curdled hollandaise sauce. A curdled or grainy texture means that the egg yolks have cooked, and there’s no coming back from this situation. I’m sorry, but you need to start the sauce from scratch :(
Hollandaise sauce is very sensitive to heat, so you need to reheat it over very gentle heat. The best way to reheat hollandaise sauce is to put it in the top container of a double-boiler and bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a simmer (do not boil) in the bottom pot. Whisk constantly until the sauce is warm.
Because the power of microwaves varies so widely, I do not recommend reheating hollandaise sauce in the microwave. A few seconds too long can curdle your sauce, and you’ll have to start the sauce from scratch.
If you don’t have a double-boiler, you can simply simmer water in a small saucepan and reheat the sauce in a larger stainless steel mixing bowl that you have set over the saucepan.
It’s worth noting that hollandaise sauce does not need to be piping hot when served—in fact, warm is enough. If all the other components of the dish are hot, the sauce will be warmed further upon touching them, and the resulting dish will come together at a perfect temperature. If your hollandaise sauce splits or curdles during the reheating process, see my tips above to bring it back together.
My favorite way to serve these foolproof Eggs Benedict is on toasted whole wheat English muffin halves with prosciutto and steamed asparagus, but there are so many other ways to prepare the dish.
Here are more serving ideas for Eggs Benedict:
Get creative! There’s no wrong way to serve my foolproof Eggs Benedict. Bon appétit!
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