Prep 0 mins
Cook 25 mins
This rich light sauce was used very extensively in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries and is as delicate a sauce as you can find. If you want to give it a little more substance and to use it where a French cook would use a Hollandaise sauce, simply stir in an egg yolk at the end of the cooking. With or without the egg yolk it makes a perfect accompaniment to asparagus, leeks, sea kale or any other fresh vegetables. It can also be used, like white sauce but with a lighter result, as a base for many different sauces.
- Let the butter soften to room temperature.
- Cut it into 8 pieces and roll them in the flour so that it is all absorbed.
- Put the pieces into a saucepan and place it over a very low heat, stirring and beating with a wire whisk until you have a pale, creamy mixture.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking after each addition; do not worry if it looks strangely rubbery at this point, it will turn back into a creamy sauce as you add more milk.
- When all the milk has been incorporated, add the lemon juice and cook the sauce very gently for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Serve very hot.