Eggs Benedict

For a classic brunch treat, try Ed Baines' recipe for poached eggs, ham and muffins topped with home-made Hollandaise sauce
By Ed Baines
Eggs Benedict
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 4 muffins, sliced into halves
  • 225 g good quality honey roast ham, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • black pepper
  • 8 good quality large eggs

For the Hollandaise sauce:

  • 175 g butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

For the infusion:

  • 75 ml white wine vinegar
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 or 3 stalks parsley
  • juice of 1 lemons

Method

1. First make the Hollandaise sauce. Make the infusion by placing the white wine vinegar, white wine, peppercorns, garlic, parsley stalks and lemon juice in a saucepan.

2. Bring to the boil, cook briskly until reduced by half, remove from the heat, strain and allow to cool.

3. Now clarify the butter. Place the butter in a heatproof basin suspended over a pan of simmering water. Gently melt the butter until it splits, with the clear fat rising to the surface and the whey remaining at the bottom.

4. Remove the bowl from the heat. Carefully ladle the clear butter into a heatproof container and place to one side, then discard the whey.

5. Place the egg yolks in a 30cm mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a very gently simmering pan of water, add 2 tablespoons of the cooled infusion and whisk continuously until the yolks begin to thicken.

6. Remove the bowl from the heat and place on a flat surface. Wrap a tea towel around the bowl to stop it slipping.

7. Vigorously whisk the egg yolks using a whisk or electric beater while very slowly pouring in the clarified butter, blending it in thoroughly.

8. Continue whisking while adding 2 teaspoons of the infusion. Season with a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper.

9. Lightly toast the muffin halves on both sides.

10. Top each toasted muffin half with around 25g of ham and set aside.

11. Fill a deep 40cm frying pan up to 10cm deep with water and add the vinegar.

12. Bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat to very low so that the water is simmering very gently.

13. Meanwhile, preheat the grill.

14. Crack each egg in turn into a ramekin, carefully slide the egg from the ramekin into the simmering water and poach each egg for 3 minutes only.

15. While the eggs are poaching heat the ham-topped muffins for 1 minute under the hot grill.

16. Gently remove the poached eggs from the water using a slotted spoon.

17. Top each muffin with a poached egg and then spoon a portion of Hollandaise sauce evenly over each egg.

18. Return the muffins to the grill and grill until the Hollandaise sauce is golden brown. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve at once.

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