Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce is pretty easy to make. The most common problem is curdling the eggs. As long as you don't cook it over high heat, you'll be fine. If you do curdle it, then you can easily fix the problem by cracking 3 more eggs. I made sure to include lots of pictures, because I find it helpful when making a sauce for the first time. You can serve this over poached eggs with an English muffin, or drizzled over steamed asparagus. Warning though, you will be whisking for a while, so get comfortable. :)

Simmer the butter until this white froth is mostly gone.
Strain and cool.
Whisk the egg yolks with water.
Set up a double boiler over medium heat or a little lower.
Make sure you use a stainless steel bowl.
Place the eggs and water mixture over the gently simmering water.
The egg mixture will heat up, cooking the yolks, and it will thicken.
Now that it's thick, remove from heat and get rid of the whisk.
Stir in the lemon juice, salt (just a pinch) and pepper.
If the mixture is too thick, add a touch of hot water or more lemon juice and stir.

Hollandaise Sauce
Original Recipe: "Vegetables" by James Peterson (1998)
Serving Size = 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used 1/2 lemon)
  • Salt (pinch) and white pepper
Note: The recipe doesn't call for it, but I think cayenne pepper would be a great addition.
  1. Place a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of water over medium heat. Bring it to a very gentle simmer, and then lower the temperature, keeping a gentle simmer (barely simmering). This will be the double boiler. Make sure the stainless steel bowl will fit on the saucepan, and the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
  2. While the water is heating, place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and simmer rapidly until the white froth subsides (about 5 minutes) and the butter looks clear. All of it may not clear away though, so you will have to strain it when you are done. You can use a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or a coffee filter (bahahaha! I tried the coffee filter, don't do it, trust me! It passes through 1 drop at a time). If you don't have anything to strain it with, then I wouldn't worry about it. Yeah, the sauce may not be perfectly smooth, but the world won't end (hopefully....). Let the butter cool down or it will curdle the eggs.
  3. Combine the egg yolks and water in a medium stainless steel bowl and beat for 1 minute with a whisk (by hand) until frothy.
  4. Place the bowl on the double boiler and whisk constantly. The egg mixture will feel hot, but it shouldn't boil. Whisk for several minutes until the sauce turns frothy and then thickens. It should form very soft peaks and you should see whisk marks remaining as you whisk. At this point the mixture should be hot and the eggs will be cooked. Remove from the heat and slowly beat in the butter until just combined. Get rid of the whisk and using a spoon, stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Only use a pinch of salt because salty hollandaise sauce is yucky.
The sauce should be made close to serving time, but if the sauce is done early, then you can place the bowl into a warm water bath.


Swathi said...

Looks delicious easy to make too

Sense of Home said...

Oh, I love a lemony hollandaise sauce on eggs.


Alea said...

This looks fantastic! It will be perfect over my spring asparagus.

I love your make shift double boiler too! :)

Melynda said...

Great tutorial, thanks. Hollandaise is perfect on so many things.

Miz Helen said...

Your Hollandaise looks perfect. I am so glad you brought it today so we could use it on our eggs here at Full Plate Thursday. Thank you for coming and please come back!

kitchen flavours said...

I have not tried hollandaise sauce before! Thanks for the tutorial, it is really helpful!

Michelle said...

Hollandaise on eggs benedict is my favourite breakfast ever, the day my boyfriend made this for me for valentines day was the day I knew I loved him more than anything!

Eddie said...

MMMmmm! Those pictures sure make the recipe look tasty. Although, as a person who loves to cook and bake in my kitchen at home, I would simply offer a friendly recommendation. When using egg-based recipes, maybe try pasteurized shelled eggs. Especially when you have sunny-side eggs, (fried eggs,) raw cookie dough, anything to that affect which leaves some part of the egg raw. Only reason I say this is because I am concerned with what I eat,and also look at those who I'm cooking for. With all these recent egg recalls, you can never be to sure. You should check them out.

Elsa said...

I didn't even know those existed. Thanks for the information Eddie! I will check it out. I am very paranoid about raw eggs. I cooked the sauce to death, and we never eat raw cookie dough.

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