I am all about the flavor combination of sweet, savory and salty for breakfast. I created a recipe for Eggs Benedict, my way, a few months ago using sausage. When I was presented with the challenge of using Clifty Farm Country Ham Biscuit Slices to create a breakfast dish, this recipe came to mind. My creative juices started flowing. I knew I did not want to just use the country ham in it’s traditional form. I wanted to elevate the sweetness and saltiness of my favorite breakfast creation. So, I candied it using brown sugar and maple syrup. OMG! The ultimate southern favorite, country ham, paired with my not so traditional version of Eggs Benedict is outstanding! Hope you enjoy my recipe for Eggs Benedict with Candied Country Ham.
Be sure to follow Clifty Farm on Facebook and Instagram. Click here for a coupon to try their amazing line of products! This recipe will make three generous servings. It does require a few more steps than most recipes, but you I can assure you, it will be totally worth the extra effort!
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the country ham slices on a non-stick baking sheet. Crumble the brown sugar on the top of each slice, then drizzle on the maple syrup. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through the baking process. Keep checking just to ensure you are not burning the sugars. Remove from oven and reserve. You can allow the candied ham to cool in the pan or on a baking rack. You will notice the ham will start to harden like candy…this is exactly how you want it! Once the candied ham is placed on the warm pancake and topped with the egg, it will heat up perfectly and have just the right consistency.
For the super fluffy pancakes, in a bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, combine the egg and milk. Lightly mix. Add the melted butter slowly to the egg/milk mixture so as to not scramble the egg. Combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients…whisking very gently, adding just a little bit at a time. Do not overwork or over mix the batter. You just want to combine.
In a separate bowl, start beating the egg whites and the sugar on medium low until stiff peaks form…you may have to increase the speed just a bit at the end. Gently…and I mean gently…fold with a spatula…the stiff egg whites into the pancake batter. Do not worry if all of the whites are not fully incorporated.
Heat up a non-stick pan or griddle to medium, medium-low…the key to these perfect pancakes, is to cook them slowly. Spray with non-stick spray or butter. Drop about a 1/2 cup spoonful of the batter mixture onto the pan for each pancake. Allow to form bubbles before flipping. This will probably take about five to six minutes. Flip and allow to cook on the other side about two minutes or so. This amount of batter made five generous size pancakes. Cover finished pancakes and reserve in a warm place (oven or microwave) while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Start boiling a pot of water for poaching the eggs. When the water just about comes to a boil…add a bit (tablespoon) of white vinegar. Crack an egg in a small bowl. Lower the heat just a touch…you do not want a hard boil as you are poaching. Swirl the water with a slotted spoon and drop in the egg…the egg white will start to form around the yolk. I can typically poach two eggs at a time in the same pot…do not get frustrated if it takes you several attempts…I still screw them up once in a while. Eggs should take about four minutes to poach…meaning the white will be set and the yolk will still run when broken.
Remove eggs from water and allow to drain on paper towels. For this recipe…you need to poach three eggs.
I would suggest, at this point, to start plating, then prepare your Hollandaise sauce…it only takes about a minute to prepare, but you definitely want to devour as soon as you add the sauce. Place a pancake on a plate (I only plated mine this way for the “gram” then transferred to a board for photo ops. Cover each pancake with the candied country ham slices, then top each with a poached egg. Sprinkle on shredded cheddar cheese.
For the Hollandaise sauce…this is super easy to do…in a bowl, just wide enough to fit an immersion blender, add the egg yolks, water and lemon juice. Melt the butter. Transfer the butter to something you can pour from. Start the immersion blender and slowly pour in the warm butter…a little bit at a time…you do NOT want to scramble the egg. You will start to see a silky, smooth sauce form. Taste and season with salt/pepper, if needed.
Pour sauce on top of egg stacks. Garnish the Eggs Benedict with Candied Country Ham with a bit of fresh parsley and ENJOY!
UPDATE: I won the Grand Prize for this recipe for Eggs Benedict with Candied Country Ham, along with my recipes for Clams with Crispy Country Ham and Maple Apple Foam and Pasta Carbonara with Country Ham and Quail Eggs.