Basic Hollandaise Sauce

Exceptionally easy, this mother sauce is the base for several other French sauces. Not to mention that it goes great over poached eggs, most fish, and steamed asparagus. Yumm!

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 sticks (6–8 ounces) melted butter

In a double boiler, heat water in bottom pan, but DO NOT BOIL. (you can also substitute a sauce pan for the bottom , and a glass mixing bowl for the top). In the top pan, put in your egg yolks. Whisk together until they are thickened.

Over the low heat from the heat of the water, beat in the lemon juice, water, salt, and cayenne until they are well combined. Stir the mixture with the wire whisk until it becomes smooth, creamy, and thicker.

Remove the pan from the heat. Begin adding the melted butter by no more than a quarter teaspoon at a time, quickly beating in each addition before you add the next. I use a turkey baster as it gives me more control than using measureing spoons..Make sure you scrape the mixture from the sides and bottom of the pan. When the sauce is as thick as heavy cream, you may beat in the butter in increasing quantities. It takes about 5 minutes to create the final emulsion.


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