OK, there are two secrets—and they’ll help you pull off the perfect homemade brunch with minimal effort.

By Bridget Hallinan
July 08, 2020
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Jennifer Causey

Until recently, I avoided making poached eggs at home. I love to eat them, and they’re one of my favorite toppings for simple salads and toasts. But after unsuccessfully trying the "whirlpool white vinegar" method I'd seen in several recipes, I decided to stick to over-easy fried eggs for a while; my established go-to for runny yolks.

It wasn't until this past Father’s Day that I finally gave them another shot. My Dad is a huge fan of eggs Benedict, and since we were staying home for the holiday (I'm quarantining with my parents), I wanted to make a special meal to celebrate. That meant poaching several eggs at once—yikes. But thanks to a Mad Genius tip from our Culinary-Director-at-Large, Justin Chapple, I was able to pull it off and serve a streamlined brunch for our small crowd. All I needed was a muffin tin, a little bit of water, and an oven.

I started out by preheating the oven to 350ºF and fried up pieces of Canadian bacon in a skillet while it came to temperature. Then I whipped out the muffin tin for the eggs. With Justin’s video queued up, I placed a tablespoon of water inside each cup—I was making five eggs, so I filled five total—and cracked the eggs right on top of the water. After that, all that was left was sliding them into the oven. No whirlpool, no worrying about wispy eggs. I just let the heat and water work their magic.

Justin recommends cooking the eggs for eight to 10 minutes, with a goal of achieving firm whites and a jiggly yolk that breaks once you dig in. (Is there anything better?) It seemed fitting to prepare the sauce while I waited.

Enter Mad Genius tip number two: blender hollandaise. My prior experience with egg yolk-and-butter sauces was more successful than poached eggs, but I wanted something quick and foolproof so I wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking. A past experiment with blender béarnaise sauce had worked, so I skipped the double boiler and brought out my KitchenAid.

Now, Justin’s recipe for horseradish hollandaise (shown above, on potatoes Benedict with make-ahead poached eggs), includes, as you’d expect, horseradish. I decided to use the blender method he suggests but skip the horseradish—if you want to omit it too, you can always follow this video demo, where he makes regular blender hollandaise sauce and adds a little Cayenne pepper for heat. Just like the poached eggs, this technique proved incredibly simple. You process egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, and then gradually drizzle in hot melted butter—blender running—to emulsify it and create that silky, ultra-creamy sauce. Once it’s thickened and you've added seasoning, you’re good to go. Perfect hollandaise sauce in a matter of minutes.

The eggs also came out just as I’d hoped, and although I had to keep them in the oven for a few extra minutes so the whites would set, the result was runny-yolked goodness. With those ready, the sauce prepared, and the Canadian bacon browned, I grabbed the final ingredient, toasted English muffin halves, and assembled the Benedicts.

The whole experience was so wonderfully low-fuss that I could see homemade eggs Benedict becoming, if not a regular weekend brunch meal, something I'd enjoy far more often in the future. The effortless process was a treat alone, and it was delicious to boot. But the best part was how happy it made my Dad—and for that, I’d gladly make poached eggs again and again.