How to Make Hollandaise Sauce
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- 3 egg yolks
- 2-3 Tablespoons water
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of white pepper, (freshly ground is best)
- 1 1/2 sticks, (6 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2-4 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
To Make By Hand
- Melt and cool the butter to just warm. The classic method is to use clarified butter, but you can also use whole butter and nothing awful will happen.
- Place the yolks, water, and a pinch of salt and white pepper in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Whisk very quickly until the yolks have lightened in color.
- Over very low heat--you may want to take the pan off and on the burner while you work--whisk the yolks continuously and quickly until the mixture thickens up enough that the whisk leaves tracks in the bottom of the pan and the mixture has some body. Regulate the heat carefully and make sure that the pan is very warm but not hot-hot. You should be able to touch the pan.
- Once your yolks are thick and cooked but not scrambled, turn off the heat (or remove the pan from the stove) and start adding the melted butter. At first, add just a few drops at a time and keep whisking madly. Add the butter, a little bit at a time, until you've added about half. Then, you can stream it in very slowly. Just never stop whisking really quickly.
- Once the fat is all whisked in, whisk for another few seconds and then whisk in the smaller amount of lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and/or white pepper until you like the flavor.
- You can gently reheat the sauce--again whisking constantly over very low heat. Hollandaise is served warm and never hot, so it should just be warm to the touch.
- Hold at room temperature for no more than an hour or so before rewarming to serve. Hollandaise doesn't keep, so you'll want to make an amount that you know you can use up all at one time.
To Make in the Blender
- Place the yolks, water, and a pinch of salt and white pepper in the jar of your mixer.
- Melt the butter so it is hot.
- Turn your mixer onto high speed and slowly stream the butter in through the feed tube on your mixer lid.
- Once all the butter is added, blend for a few more seconds. Then add the smaller amount of lemon juice and blend for another couple of seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Things That Are True for Both Versions
- Your sauce will thicken upon standing. If you want to loosen it back up, whisk in a few drops of water or lemon juice before serving.
Hollandaise is a fairly plain sauce, even if it is delicious. Feel free to add a bit of cayenne or even a shake or three of hot sauce, sriracha, harissa, etc to yours. Vary it by adding your favorite chopped herbs. You can also add citrus zest and experiment with using lime juice or orange juice as well as combinations. If you don't want to go the citrus route, bring acidity to your sauce with a bit of red wine or rice wine vinegar. It really is up to you. Once you understand how to make Hollandaise sauce and you remember the ratios to stick to, you'll find a lot of ways to switch things up. Enjoy!
And there you have it. Thanks so much for spending some time with me and letting me show you how to make Hollandaise sauce.
Take care, and have a lovely day.
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