The Ultimate Guide to Making Eggs Benedict at Home
The jury's out on the true origin of eggs Benedict (and exactly who the dish was named after), but two New York City restaurants began serving the dish around the same time in the late 1800s. Eggs Benedict may seem like a feat of timing best left to the pros, but you can—and absolutely should—make this brunch classic at home. Our ingenious prep-ahead approach removes any short-order stress, and the simple hollandaise will bring down the house (yes, your house).
How to Make Eggs Benedict
There are four layers to this classic egg breakfast, and they're what put the dish in a league of its own. To create a smooth and creamy hollandaise sauce, start by combining egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Slowly stream in one stick of melted butter until the sauce has fully absorbed the butter and thickened.
To build eggs Benedict, start with a good-quality English muffin, such as Bay's, with a generous schmear of butter. Next comes crispy Canadian bacon, which is browned in a skillet for about eight minutes. Top with a perfectly poached egg, which cooks in just about three minutes, and then spoon the rich hollandaise sauce on top. Garnish with watercress and a dash of cayenne pepper.
The Prep-Ahead Plan
You can poach the eggs up to a day in advance, and then you won't have to worry about cracking under pressure when it's showtime. Transfer the cooked eggs to an ice-water bath so the yolks stay runny. Set aside at room temperature for up to an hour, or cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. Reheat by briefly placing the eggs in a bowl of hot water from the tap, just until warmed through.
Canadian bacon and hollandaise are the two ingredients that define eggs Benedict, but there's a world of variations—from eggs California to eggs Florentine—to enjoy come brunch time. Swap out the Canadian bacon for seared tenderloin for eggs Omar or chorizo sausage for Huevos Bendictos. Eggs Chesapeake features a crab cake atop a craggy English muffin and eggs Royale is made with a luxurious combination of smoked salmon and salmon caviar. We're also a fan of adding caramelized tomato slices or crab salad in place of the Canadian bacon. Replace the English muffin with a roasted portobello mushroom for a gluten-free option, which is included in our recipe.