Julia Child's Hollandaise Sauce

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 5 mins

This classic recipe comes from "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" that was published in 1999.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale (this prepares them for what is to come).
  2. Set the pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan, where the eggs tend to overcook.
  3. To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on. (If, by chance, the eggs seem to be cooking too fast, set the pan in the bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then continue).
  4. As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat.
  5. By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want.
  6. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed. Serve lukewarm.


Most Helpful

Best Hollandaise sauce I ever made. Made a couple of changes. Cooked the sauce in a stainless bowl over boiling water and used the juice of one medium lemon, and omitted the water.

guidomarx June 26, 2016

Great flavor and excellent cooking instructions. I always have trouble overcooking the eggs so they turn out lumpy instead of creamy, but this was very helpful! White pepper is a good alternative to black if you don't want to see those little specks. Adding the butter after removing from the heat is also important as it prevents the butter from melting too much so you can get that creamy consistency. Thanks for sharing!

swingncocoa August 24, 2012

Very easy recipe that makes very good Hollandaise; who could ask for more. I had to substitute salted butter for unsalted and black pepper for white. I think the white pepper is used so that you don't see any black specs in the sauce; anyway, I don't think that the substitutions had any effect on the outcome..
I have a simmer burner on my stove so I was able to control the heat pretty well; but I still had a comtainer of cold water available to cool the bottom of the pan, I used it once while heating the egg mixture which began to lump.
I also used the simmer burner set on meium low to help mix the butter into the egg mixture and keep the sauce warm for serving. The pan stayed cool enough so that I could rest my hand against the side of the pan and it was lukewarm when served.
Justin Doit

Justin Doit April 06, 2011

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a