Most people that I run across these days always appear to be in a hurry, especially busy mom’s on the go. As a mom of two myself, one of my favorite things to do, especially on Sunday’s, is to stop, reflect, and to be present with my own family. Sunday’s are for cooking big comforting meals in my world, and we all jump in and like to get creative in the kitchen.
Come Mother’s Day though, which is just around the corner (May 14), why not surprise Mom with breakfast in bed on her special day? It’s fun and easy with the help of Bonne Maman, and I know I’d be up for it!
Bon Maman asked for my help in creating a sumptuous, sweet and savory recipe using their Apricot Preserves. I love that their preserves are made from the same time-honored traditional French recipes used to create the brand years ago, almost as much as I adore hearing the pop when opening their beautiful red plaid topped jar, this time containing large pieces of juicy ripe apricots. Right away I thought about ham, barbecue, pork, and how delicious these preserves would perfectly season the meat. My other addiction is breakfast foods, eggs specifically, and of course being from the South, biscuits. So…I created Southern Biscuits with Apricot Country Ham, topped with Poached Eggs, and drizzled with Apricot Hollandaise.
The flavor profiles played well off of each other… salty, sweet, savory, creamy… just the way I like it. My husband and son licked their plates. I did pick a chive blossom from my garden to add to the dish. The blossom comes apart easily into lightly onion scented flowerets that are delicious scattered on top of this recipe giving a nice herbaceous touch. A glass of rosé also rounded out the dish, and if Mom likes wine, definitely provide her with a little vino. Unexpected kindness goes a long way when you #SayItWithHomemade. Look for that hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to reach other bloggers with the fresh new recipes that they are sharing, as well as to enter the Le Creuset Cookware Giveaway with with Bonne Maman, also seen on my homepage. Fun Fact: Did you know “Bonne Maman” means Grandmother?
This recipe appears complicated but it’s actually quite easy. Make the biscuits first. Keep them warm, cook the ham next, and while the eggs are poaching whip up the hollandaise. Just layer and serve this amazing meal.
2 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising) I like Martha White or White Lily for biscuits.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, lard or Crisco
3/4 to 1 cup really good buttermilk
Unsalted butter softened for brushing the tops
Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a wide and deep bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small the flour mixture into each other until it looks like coarse meal. Pour in the buttermilk, and gently mix until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, and compress and push the dough away from you. Gently fold dough back over itself, giving the dough a small turn and repeat 8 or so times. Again, be gentle as you want to just barely want to activate the gluten, not overwork it. If it is too wet , add a bit more flour. Lightly dust the rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out 3/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds of dough with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter that has been dipped in flour, and press the cutter straight down. Pull straight up with no twisting, and the biscuits should rise evenly when baked.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet or in an 8-9 inch round cake pan. If the biscuits are baked close together the sides will be moist. If the biscuits are baked further apart, the sides will be crisp.
Using a metal spatula, move the biscuits to the pan or baking sheet. Bake the biscuits on the top rack of the oven for 10 to 14 minutes total until light golden brown. When the biscuits are done, remove from the oven and lightly brush the tops with softened or melted butter.Transfer to a rack to cool just slightly. When not using two biscuits, each sliced in half for this recipe, serve warm with lots of butter, sorghum, or sausage gravy.
Plate 2 biscuits, sliced in half and buttered.
Choose your favorite store bought country ham slices (sometimes they come with biscuit pieces). I really like the heavy smoke flavor that is in Allan Benton’s from Madsionville, Tennesse. You can order it online, or check with your local butcher on the best quality they might offer.
Feeds Mom: Cook two ham slices in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove ham, add one tablespoon of butter to the same skillet and quickly whisk in one tablespoon of apricot preserves for 1 to 2 minutes. Place ham back and pan to keep warm, turning as necessary. Repeat this method for each additional serving.
Place ham slices evenly shared on top of biscuits. Top ham slices with pan juices.
For the most success, and a “tighter’ poached egg, use fresh eggs. As eggs get older their makeup changes and the whites become more fluid when dropping them in boiling water. A spoonful of vinegar does help by encouraging the whites to coagulate faster. Just a splash won’t change the taste and almost guarantees success. If poaching several eggs at once, make sure there’s room in your pot for each one to have room (Remember Juila Child saying to not crowd the mushrooms? Same concept) . Crack the eggs into separate measuring cups and slip them into the water one by one. You’ll also need to extend the cooking time by about 30 seconds for each extra egg.
Place the poached egg on a top of the country ham with apricot glaze that is on top of the Southern biscuit. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
A shortcut is to buy a dry packet from your favorite grocery store, add 1/4 lemon juiced and seeded, and whisk in 2 tablespoons of Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves.
It’s pretty simple to make it fresh by using these steps:
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Fresh white ground pepper to taste
Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale (this prepares them for what is to come).
Set the pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan, where the eggs tend to overcook.
To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on. (If, by chance, the eggs seem to be cooking too fast, set the pan in the bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then continue).
As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat.
By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want.
Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed. Serve lukewarm.
Top the poached eggs sitting on the apricot glazed country ham and biscuits with a generous amount of hollandaise. Sprinkle with fresh herbs (optional) like my chive blossom, thyme, basil or other.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Honest Cooking in association with Bonne Maman Preserves. Bonne Maman Preserves and Jellies, produced in France, are Non-GMO Project Verified, have no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial coloring or no preservatives added.