Since I discovered a decent canned version of Hollandaise sauce, I have been making Eggs Benedict at least once a week. While I love the version that is sold in most restaurants, I am constantly tinkering with the recipe. Today, my wife Jan wanted pancakes for breakfast, but I wanted eggs Benedict—and a new variation was born.
Note: Since I learned how easy it is to make fresh homemade pancakes, I have never bought another box of the commercial stuff.
Karl’s Country Eggs Benedict
1 cup AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free, preferred)
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbs. Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup milk (I use low-fat lactose-free)
For each person being served
2 pats European butter (optional)
2 slices Canadian bacon
2-3 Tbs. Hollandaise sauce
1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt thoroughly in a medium bowl.
Tip: I run the mix through a flour sifter several times to get a good mix.
Note: I do not add the sugar at this point, because the bits of orange zest tend to get caught in the sifter.
2. Whisk the sugar into the dry ingredients.
3. Melt the butter in a small cup and drizzle it over the flour mixture.
Tip: Put the butter in a microwave safe custard cup and zap it for 15-20 seconds.
Note: Keep an eye out during the last few seconds, so that the butter does not boil over.
4. Whisk the butter into the flour to distribute it evenly.
Tip: You want to break the butter into small bits with no large lumps. A chopping motion with the end of the whisk is a good technique.
5. Put the egg in a large one cup measure and lightly scramble it with one quarter cup of the milk.
Tip: If you are not watching your weight, you may replace some of the milk with half and half.
6. Stir the rest of the milk into the measuring cup.
7. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the milk/egg mixture into the depression.
8. Whisk the ingredients together until there is no dry flour showing.
Tip: This is a bit tricky. You want to thoroughly mix the dry and wet ingredients, but you do not want to over work your batter. This would produce too much gluten and make your pancakes tough. Once you have only a few small lumps, stop.
Note: Some of these lumps will be butter, but any flour lumps will continue to absorb the milk and it will be OK.
9. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes.
10. Pam a griddle and heat it over medium high heat.
Tip: Wipe away most of the Pam with a paper towel. You want the merest smear of oil on your griddle. Too much and your first batch of pancakes will steam on their first side and be unappealing.
Note: When a drip of water “dances” over the griddle it is hot enough.
11. Spoon the batter over the griddle to make your preferred size pancakes.
Tip: One tablespoon for “dollar pancakes,” one tablespoon more for each additional inch larger.
Note: Give your pancakes plenty of room, so that they do not merge into one large cake as they cook.
12. When the first side is well browned, 1 ½ -2 minutes, flip the pancakes to finish the second side.
Tip: Lift the edge of the first pancake you poured into the griddle, to check the browning of the first side.
13. Cook the second side until well browned, and transfer the pancakes to a wire rack.
Tip: Laying the pancakes on a flat surface will make the bottoms soggy, as the steam comes out of the fresh pancakes.
Note: To keep the first pancakes warm, you may place the wire rack on a lipped baking sheet and put them in a warmed oven. Do not leave the oven on, or it will dry out your pancakes and turn them into Frisbees.
14. Continue until you run out of batter.
Note: This recipe produces about 12 three-inch pancakes.
15. While you are cooking your pancakes, poach the eggs, for about 5-6 minutes in hot simmering water.
Tip: You do want your water to be hot enough to cook your egg through, but you do not want it to be at a roiling boil as it will knock the egg about creating an excess of foamy whites.
Note: Many people poach eggs in a large pot of boiling water. I personally do not care if I end up with smooth, fluffy-white free eggs. I put about an inch of water in a small skillet, which gives me more control over the process. I put 1-4 eggs in the simmering water. After about a minute I slide a small pancake turner under the egg(s) to make sure they are not stuck to the pan. After another minute I flip the egg(s) over—you want the bottoms to be well set before doing this as the whites may break and your egg will fall apart. You must also be careful not to poke into the yolk with the corner of the turner. After another two minutes turn the egg(s) over a second time. Continue simmering the egg(s) until they are done to your satisfaction—lift the egg slightly out of the water and poke at the edge of the yolk— you want the white fully set, but the yolk still thick and runny.
16. Lightly fry the Canadian bacon.
Tip: You may use the same pan as the pancakes, when you are finished cooking them.
17. Assembling the eggs Benjamin:
a. Set two pancakes on your plate.
Tip: Add the butter at this time, if you wish.
b. Lay the Canadian bacon on the pancakes.
c. Set the poached eggs on top of the bacon.
Note: I fold a paper towel and as I remove the egg(s) from the water I set the turner on the paper briefly to blot away any excess water. If you go straight from the pot to the muffin you hazard ending up with soggy pancakes.
d. Spoon the Hollandaise sauce over the eggs.
19. Serve warm.