Hollandaise is the sunny yellow sauce poured over eggs benedict at brunch. It’s a warm emulsion of butter and lemon juice with egg yolks. Combining these ingredients with care turns them into a sauce that is both light and rich. Hollandaise is best served immediately as it does not reheat well. Here’s how to prepare it.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Yield: 1 cup
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black or white pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and water: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and water. Whisk off the heat until the egg yolks double in volume.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and cook sauce: Set the pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Whisking constantly, cook the sauce, very gently until the eggs are thick, pale, and fluffy.
The whisk should leave trails in the sauce. This could take up to 5 minutes. Don’t skimp on this step! It’s what makes a thin, so-so hollandaise into a sensational sauce with body.
- Whisk in remaining softened butter: Once the egg mixture is thick, begin whisking in the remaining softened butter, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure each addition of butter is fully incorporated into the sauce before whisking in the next piece. This can take up to 10 minutes and you may need to move the pan on and off the burner to regulate the heat and prevent the sauce from cooking too quickly.
As you whisk in more butter the sauce will grow in body. When you’ve added all the butter, reduce the heat as low as it will go.
- Season, taste, and strain the hollandaise if desired: Add the salt and some freshly ground pepper, to taste. If using a pinch of cayenne pepper, omit the freshly ground black pepper. It’s an intense sauce, so dip a raw vegetable like a carrot stick in there, to taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.
If you’re serving it with something salty, like ham, you might not want to season it as aggressively, but I do think this sauce is better when it’s on the salty side, and I usually wind up adding a few more pinches of salt.
If you desire a thinner hollandaise, you can thin the sauce by using one of two methods. You can strain the seasoned sauce into a large bowl using a fine mesh sieve. Use a rubber spatula to help you strain the hollandaise, if needed. You can also whisk in warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency.
- How to keep hollandaise warm before serving and how to store: You may hold the sauce for up to 30 minutes on the stovetop with the burner on its lowest setting. You may need to slide the pan on and off the burner in order for the hollandaise to not overheat and break.
Refrigerate leftover hollandaise within 2 hours of making it and use the leftovers to spread on toast within 3 days. It does not reheat well, but if you decide to try to reheat it do so in a double boiler whisking continuously.
Source: Simply Recipes