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Eggs Blackstone with Meyer Lemon Hollandaise

The difference between eggs Blackstone and the better-known eggs Benedict is that the former calls for bacon instead of ham. A ripe, juicy tomato, maybe one of the heirloom varieties such as Brandywine or Marvel Stripe, makes this special brunch dish stellar, but any tomato variety may be used. If Meyer lemons are unavailable, substitute the juice from another variety and add 1/4 tsp. sugar to replicate the delicate sweetness of the Meyer. 

Ingredients:

For the hollandaise sauce: 

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh Meyer lemon juice  
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 4 Tbs. boiling water 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 
  •   
  • 8 thick bacon slices, cut in half
  • 1 tsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice 
  • 8 eggs 
  • 4 English muffins, halved and toasted 
  • 8 heirloom or regular tomato slices 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Directions:

To make the hollandaise sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and keep warm. In a small nonreactive saucepan over low heat, warm the lemon juice.

Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl or in the top pan of a double boiler and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat the yolks, whisking constantly, until they begin to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 Tbs. of the boiling water and whisk until the yolks thicken, about 2 seconds. Add another 1 Tbs. of the boiling water and whisk until the yolks thicken, about 2 seconds. Repeat twice, adding 1 Tbs. boiling water each time. Whisk in the warm lemon juice and remove the bowl from the heat. Whisking constantly, very slowly pour in the melted butter. Whisk in the salt and cayenne and continue to whisk until the sauce triples in volume, 3 to 4 minutes. To keep the sauce warm until serving, set it over but not touching hot water in the saucepan and whisk occasionally.

Preheat a broiler.

Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source. Broil the slices until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the slices over and broil until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

Pour water to a depth of 2 inches into a large fry pan and add the lemon juice. Set over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Break 1 egg into a small bowl or cup. Hold the bowl so it is just touching the simmering water and slide the egg into the water. Quickly repeat with the remaining eggs, one at a time, keeping them about 1 inch apart. Adjust the heat to keep the water at a gentle simmer. Cook until the whites are set and the yolks are glazed over but still soft, 4 to 5 minutes.

About 1 minute before the eggs are done, place 2 toasted muffin halves, cut side up, on each warmed plate. Top each half with 1 tomato slice and 2 bacon slices. Using a slotted spoon, lift each egg from the simmering water, letting the excess water drain into the pan. Trim any ragged edges of egg white with kitchen scissors. Top each muffin half with 1 poached egg and sprinkle with black pepper. Spoon 2 Tbs. of the hollandaise sauce over each egg. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).