True story: every time my boyfriend and I go out to eat he will order Eggs Benedict if it’s on the menu. Every time. But I’ve never made it for him at home! I had only made hollandaise sauce once in the past and I remember it being quite tricky, so I always just saved that dish for special occasions when we go out. …Until now. I was craving Eggs Benedict like no other, so I decided to give it a shot again. And boy am I glad I did, because I was able to scale the recipe down for two and I found a simple method for the hollandaise sauce that is easy enough for a lazy Sunday morning. I’m calling this “Almost” Eggs Benedict because I used sunny side up eggs instead of poached. I like fried eggs 100x better than poached and they still have the runny yolk, so that’s all that is really important. ;)
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Hollandaise Sauce Methods
While I was giving myself a refresher course on how to make hollandaise, I kept coming across a super simple one pan method that totally intrigued me. I gave it a shot and sure enough, it was incredibly easy and worked like a charm. I used the one pot method below, but I don’t know who was first to discover this method or who to properly credit. Just know that this methodology is not my genius work. Many people also use the blender method for their hollandaise, which seems pretty fool-proof, but I don’t have a blender that would work well for that method, so I used the one pot. If you’re interested in the blender method, just Google “blender hollandaise” and you’ll find hundreds of tutorials.
Small Batch for the Win!
I scaled the hollandaise sauce down as far as I could (one egg yolk), but there was still a bit more than needed for two servings of this Almost Eggs Benedict. Depending on how much of this deliciously rich sauce you like, I think you could stretch this sauce over three, perhaps even four servings of Eggs Benedict.
REMEMBER: When an ingredient is listed as “divided” in an ingredient list, that means that part of it will be used for one step and the remainder for another step. :)
Almost Eggs Benedict
- 5 Tbsp butter, divided ($0.83)
- 2 English muffins ($1.00)
- 3 large eggs, divided ($0.83)
- 2 thick slices ham ($0.83)
- 1 Tbsp water ($0.00)
- 1 lemon (or about 1/2 Tbsp juice)* ($0.37)
- pinch cayenne ($0.02)
- pinch salt and pepper ($0.03)
- Separate the whites from the yolk of ONE egg. Add the yolk to a small sauce pot along with 1 Tbsp water and about 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (I like my hollandaise quite lemony, if you don't, start with 1 tsp lemon juice). Whisk them together until smooth. The pot is not over heat at this point.
- Cut 4 Tbsp butter into 1/2 Tbsp chunks, then place them in the sauce pot with the egg, water, and lemon juice. Finally, place the pot over LOW heat and whisk continuously, allowing the butter to slowly melt into the yolk as you whisk. It should take 2-3 minutes for the butter to melt.
- When the butter is fully melted, continue to whisk continuously and vigorously. As the mixture continues to heat, the yolk will begin to cook and solidify, which will thicken the sauce into a light, velvety mixture. It should take about 3-5 minutes for the mixture to cook to the point where it is thickened and will first look frothy, then finally begin to thicken. Once thickened, remove it from the heat. Taste the sauce and season with a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper. If you prefer more lemon, it can be whisked in at this point. Place a lid on the pot and set it near the burner that will be used for the eggs and ham, but not over direct heat, to keep it slightly warm.
- Add about 1 tsp butter to a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt, then tilt the skillet to coat the surface. Open the English muffins and place them cut sides down in the skillet. Cook them until browned, then flip an cook a couple minutes more on the other side (about 5 minutes total). Place the buttery toasted muffins on your plates.
- Wipe out the skillet to remove any cornmeal from the muffins, then add another teaspoon of butter. Once melted, add the ham slices to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides (another 3-5 minutes). If your ham slices are large like mine were, cut them in half to better fit the English muffins. Once browned, place the ham pieces on the toasted English muffins.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, add another teaspoon of butter to the skillet and cook two of the eggs until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny. I find using a slightly lower heat helps give the whites time to heat through and cook before cooking the yolk. Top the muffins and ham with the eggs.
- Finally, drizzle the prepared hollandaise sauce over the eggs and ham on the English muffins, and enjoy.
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Want to try making your own English Muffins, too? Check out my recipe for Homemade English Muffins!
How to Make Eggs Benedict – Step by Step Photos
Start by separating the white and yolk of ONE egg. Place the yolk in a small sauce pot and add 1 Tbsp water and about 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I like my hollandaise quite lemony, so if you don’t, you can start with 1 tsp lemon juice). Whisk these ingredients together until smooth. The pot is not over heat at this point.
Cut 4 Tbsp butter into 1/2 Tbsp chunks. Place the butter in the pot with the egg yolk, water, and lemon juice.
Place the pot over LOW heat and begin whisking continuously. The butter will slowly melt and as it does the whisking will emulsify it into the yolk and water.
Once the butter is fully melted, just KEEP WHISKING over low heat. What will happen next is that the mixture will continue to heat up and the yolks will finally begin to cook and solidify. Because the yolk is emulsified into tiny droplets with the butter, it will actually thicken the sauce into a beautiful velvety mixture. The sauce will look frothy first, then as it thickens it will become silky smooth.
Remove the hollandaise sauce from the heat when it becomes thick, but still pourable. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Give it a taste and adjust anything else as needed (if you want more lemon, you can whisk it in now).
And now you have a glorious, silky, lemony hollandaise sauce! Place a lid on the pot and set the pot near where you’ll be cooking the eggs and things to help keep it warm (but do not place it directly over heat).
Place 1 tsp butter in a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Once melted, tilt the skillet to coat the surface in butter. Open two English muffins and place them cut sides down in the skillet. Cook until browned and crispy in the butter, then flip and cook for a couple minutes more on the other side. Remove the cooked muffins to a plate.
Wipe out the skillet to remove the cornmeal, then add another teaspoon butter. Add your ham slices (I had two long slices and cut each in half to fit the English muffins better) and cook until browned on each side. Place the cooked ham on top of the English muffins.
Add the final teaspoon butter to the skillet, then add your eggs. I like to cook mine over medium-low because I feel like it gives the whites time to cook through before the yolks cook. Either way, keep those yolks runny so you can have a yolk and hollandaise party on your English muffins.
Top your English muffins and ham with the cooked eggs, then spoon the hollandaise sauce over top. WINNING.
Now go enjoy your weekend because it’s already off to an AWESOME start!