Evolution or Creation?: The Story of Eggs Benedict Pie

In 1894, the story goes, Lemmy Benedict, bored and hungover, told the chef at the Waldorf Astoria that we wanted something different for breakfast. What he ordered doesn’t seem all that different: poached eggs, bacon, and buttered toast. But he also asked for a pitcher of hollandaise sauce, and proceeded to build his own treat. The chef, Oscar Tschirky, later made his own variation, and put it on the menu with English muffins and sauteed ham, but Lemmy never approved of Oscar’s version. No, the real deal was the way Lemmy made it and that was that.

The history of Eggs Benedict is now more than 100 years old, and if you do want to read more about it, here’s a fine article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/nyregion/thecity/08eggs.html?pagewanted=1

What you’ll find out though is that a lot of people have taken a whack at creating the E. B., but like so many things in life, all they can do is build on the original idea, the one where Lemmy Benedict ordered up that pitcher of sauce.

Toast or muffins? Toast or artichoke hearts? Salmon instead of ham? I’d be willing to try any of them, especially if I were at the Waldorf Astoria with a hangover.

Here, at the Slice of Heaven 24-hour Pie Shop and Driving Range, we have our own delectable version of Lemmy’s dish: Eggs Benedict Pie. We make it in an individual serving dish with a breadcrumb crust, baked with brushed butter, topped with piping hot Canadian bacon, two poached eggs, and as much hollandaise sauce as you can stand, garnished with one of those cute little sprigs of parsley, just for a touch of color, and and sprinkling of paprika.

If we served liquor, we’d give you a Bloody Mary, too, but we don’t, so you’ll have to settle for our trademarked Bloody Shame. But if you slip in a bit of something from your own hip flask, we won’t try to stop you.

Want to go the vegetarian route? We are willing to negotiate. Just remember. At the Slice of Heaven 24-hour Pie Shop and Driving Range, we use only real ingredients.

4 comments

  1. tenenbaum.susan says:

    Forget the muffin. Slice two white potatos thin and boil for 5 minutes.
    While you’re at it, forget the ham. get a pound of sausage meat and make it into tiny meatballs and fry them.
    While you’re at it, forget individual pans – this serves at least 6 people, so go for the real thing.
    Butter the pieplate and layer in the potatos and then the meatballs. Scramble six to eight eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and pour them on top of the potatos.
    While you’re at it, skip the hollandaise. Top instead w/grated cheese, the kind you like best.
    While you’re at it, don’t poach anything. Stick the entire production in a preheated 375 oven for about half an hour, or until your fork tells you the potatos are soft and the egg is set.

    This pie should not be consumed in mixed company.

  2. tenenbaum.susan says:

    There should be a means for commenters to edit comments. While we’re at it, I meant 3 white potatos.

  3. bjeaner says:

    I’ll look for a better commenting system. For now, all we can do is get it right the first time around.

    Now, your version of the EBPie seems like something that we could serve out in the Swing Dance Barn — rather than to the solitary folk at the Pie Shop. But I notice you say it should not be consumed in mixed company, so perhaps we need to call it paradox pie.

    My turn to run the tractor this morning, so I’ll be offline a bit until my regular shift starts at 2:00. The Usual Idiot is running the counter and The Morning Guy has gone on a field trip to the Duct Tape Hall of Fame, but he’ll come back. He always does.

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