by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Kelly Heck
Thank Mom for all she does by celebrating her on Mother’s Day with a breakfast bearing touches of the savory and the sweet. Serve poached eggs in homemade popovers with a drizzling of lemon hollandaise, a delightful variation on the classic eggs Benedict. Round out the breakfast in bed tray with a tropical fruit salad and a little lemon curd tartlet treat.
Little Lemon Curd Tartlets
For the tartlet shells:
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
One 3-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add flour and mix to form a soft dough. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Form the dough into 30 walnut-sized balls. Place each ball of dough in a mini-muffin tin cup. Dust your fingers with flour and shape a shell in the cup. Pierce the shells with a fork and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack before filling.
For the lemon curd:
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 large egg yolks, well beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- Sift together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually add 1/2 cup cold water and the lemon juice. Place saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk until smooth. Add the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons butter; blend completely. Stir continually with a wooden spoon until thickened and add 1 cup boiling water. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and add the grated lemon zest. Let cool completely. Rub surface lightly with remaining tablespoon butter to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until ready to use. Refrigerate unused lemon curd for up to 1 week.
3/4 cup Lemon Curd
Whipped cream, for serving
Freshly grated lemon zest, for garnish
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Fill cooled shells with the lemon curd. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the lemon curd filling and garnish with lemon zest and mint leaves. Makes 30 tartlets.
Poached Egg Popovers
For the popovers:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for popover tins
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for tins
1 cup milk
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour 5 popover tins or custard cups.
- Whisk together the melted butter, flour, milk and salt until smooth. Whisk in the beaten eggs, little by little, until incorporated. Do not overbeat the batter; it should have the consistency of thick cream.
- Fill the prepared popover tins or custard cups approximately 3/4 full with the batter. Transfer the tins or cups to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Without opening the oven door, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake popovers for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
For the poached eggs:
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
5 large eggs
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fill a large, wide saucepan with 1 inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium so that the water is just simmering (you should still see bubbles breaking the surface of the water), and add the vinegar to the water.
- Break 1 egg at a time into a small heatproof ramekin or cup, roughly the size of 1 large egg. Partially immerse the ramekin or cup into the simmering water and quickly slide the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with remaining eggs, allowing each egg an equal amount of space in the pan.
- Poach until whites are set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, 3 to 5 min. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the water, and set the spoon, with the egg inside, briefly on a clean kitchen towel to drain. Season with salt & pepper.
For the lemon hollandaise:
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- In the top of a double boiler or in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks with water. Whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens, about 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Slowly whisk in the melted butter, using small portions at a time, until the hollandaise thickens. If the hollandaise becomes too thick or starts to curdle, immediately whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water. Serve the hollandaise immediately or keep it warm in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk occasionally to avoid lumps.
5 thin slices Canadian bacon or cooked sliced ham
Finely chopped fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- To serve, split the popovers in half and place each half on individual serving plates. Top each bottom half with 1 slice of Canadian bacon or cooked ham and 1 poached egg.
- Garnish with a drizzling of lemon hollandaise and a sprinkling of mint. Serve immediately. Makes 5 servings.
Tropical Fruit Salad
10 ounces pineapple chunks in juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 star fruit (carambola) washed, seeds removed and sliced to create “stars”
1 kiwi, peeled, halved and sliced
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1/2 large banana, sliced
1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1 coconut, halved, for serving
- Drain pineapple chunks, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the pineapple juice. Add lime zest and lime juice to pineapple juice.
- Combine pineapple chunks, star fruit, kiwi, mango, banana and coconut in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle juice mixture over the fruit and toss to coat. Spoon fruit salad into coconut halves. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.