Ready in 30 minutes
This recipe can be simplified by poaching your eggs in advance (see Recipe BO # 181105). You can also make the hollandaise sauce ahead of time and keep it warm over simmering water, and toast the muffins under the broiler.
Prepare Hollandaise Sauce:
Combine the peppercorns and the vinegar in a small pan and reduce over medium heat until nearly dry, about 5 minutes. Add the water to the vinegar reduction. Strain this liquid into a stainless-steel bowl.
Add the egg yolks to the reduction and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook the mixture until the yolks triple in volume and fall in ribbons from the whisk. Remove the bowl from the simmering water and set it on a clean kitchen towel to keep the bowl stationary.
Gradually ladle the warm butter into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. As the butter is blended into the yolks, the sauce will thicken. If it becomes too thick and the butter is not blending in easily, add a little water or lemon juice to thin the egg mixture enough to whisk in the remaining butter. Season the hollandaise with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne if desired.
The sauce is ready to serve at this point, or it may be finished as desired. The sauce should be held warm over a hot water bath or it can be held sealed in a thermos.
Prepare Eggs Benedict:
Heat a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the Canadian bacon, working in batches, and saute on both sides until heated through, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
If the eggs have been poached in advance, reheat them in simmering water until warmed through. Blot them on toweling and shape if necessary. Top each English muffin half with a Canadian bacon slice and a poached egg. Spoon 2 tablespoons warm hollandaise sauce over each egg.