Recipes

Eggs Benedict

Master the king of breakfast dishes
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Eggs Benedict Recipe
Photos: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

We're challenging you to take on the ultimate breakfast dish: eggs Benedict. You know, that classic pile-up of toasted English muffins topped with seared Canadian bacon, poached eggs and creamy hollandaise sauce you usually reserve for weekend brunch plans. Now, it's time to make it at home. 

With only eight ingredients, this dish is all about technique. So we're here to help break it down for you.

We stick to tradition by using clarified butter to make our hollandaise sauce, which means separating the pure butterfat from the milk solids and straining out the latter. Clarified butter can withstand hotter cooking without the risk of the milk solids burning. But those solids are still full of flavor, so we use them to brush onto our English muffins before toasting.

This recipe is definitely all about multitasking to make sure all the components make it to the plate hot and perfect. Though the hollandaise has to be made à la minute, the eggs can be poached in advance. Simply drop the poached eggs into an ice water bath after poaching, then store them in individual small bowls with a little bit of water. Before you serve, drop the eggs into a pot of water at poaching temperature (180°) to warm them through, and then you're ready to get some great yolk porn for the 'gram.

To learn more, read “TT Culinary Institute: Eggs Benedict.”

  • Heat the butter over a double boiler.

  • Let sit over the double boiler until the butter has separated and the milk solids have sunk to the bottom.

  • Skim any remaining solids off the top.

  • Pour the clarified butter through a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh strainer, stopping as soon as only the cloudy milk solids are left.

  • Keep the clarified butter warm to make your hollandaise and reserve the milk solids for the English muffins.

  • Brush the English muffins with the milk solids, then bake at 450° until golden brown and crisp.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter in a skillet to cook the Canadian bacon.

  • Sear the bacon until golden brown on both sides.

  • In a bowl, combine the egg yolks with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

  • Whisk over a double boiler until pale yellow and thickened.

  • Slowly whisk in the warm clarified butter until emulsified.

  • Season with salt and cayenne pepper, then keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Heat a pot of salted water to 180° and add 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar.

  • Using a slotted spoon, create a whirlpool by swirling the water.

  • Have the eggs already cracked into small glass bowls. Then, drop the eggs, one at a time, into the pot.

  • Remove the eggs when the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny.

  • Assemble the dish by placing a slice of Canadian bacon on each half of English muffin. Top with a poached egg, spoon over the hollandaise sauce and serve.

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Eggs Benedict

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 3 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter

3 English muffins, opened

6 ounces (6 slices) thick-cut Canadian bacon

2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar

6 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Make the clarified butter: Heat a small saucepan filled with 1 inch of water over medium heat until steaming. Place a medium heatproof glass bowl over the steaming water. Place the butter in the bowl and let it melt completely until the butter has separated and the milk solids have sunk to the bottom of the bowl, 10 minutes.

2. Skim any milk solids that may be floating on the top, then slowly pour the clarified butter through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. You want to pour out only the clear yellow butter. Stop pouring as soon as the opaque milk solids are left, reserving both the clarified butter and milk solids separately, and keeping the clarified butter warm.

3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the English muffins on a sheet pan, nooks and crannies side up, and brush each with the reserved milk solids. Bake until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Keep warm.

4. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter over medium-high heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook, flipping once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Keep warm.

5. Prepare a large pot of salted water and add the vinegar. Insert a candy thermometer into the pot and heat to 180°, where there is visible steam coming off the surface of the pot, but the water is not simmering.

6. Meanwhile, make the hollandaise sauce: Refill the small saucepan from step 1 with an inch of water and heat over medium until steaming. Place another medium heatproof glass bowl over the steaming water.

7. To the bowl, add the 3 egg yolks, lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Whisk constantly until the egg yolks are pale yellow and thick, 1 to 2 minutes. While whisking constantly, slowly stream in ½ cup of the warm clarified butter (reserve any extra for other uses) until thick and creamy. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Keep warm.

8. Poach the eggs: Once the pot of vinegar water comes to 180°, crack the whole eggs into 6 small bowls. Use a slotted spoon to make a whirlpool in the water. Then, one at a time, drop the eggs into the center of the pot. Poach, gently stirring occasionally until the white is cooked and the yolk is still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, line up 3 plates. Place an English muffin on each plate, then top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon. As soon as the eggs are poached, remove them with a slotted spoon and dab on a paper towel to dry before placing over the Canadian bacon. Spoon some hollandaise over each egg, then sprinkle with more cayenne and serve.

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