Hollandaise Sauce

READY IN: 25mins
YIELD: 1/2 cup




  • Allow the butter to soften a little in the kitchen, it is also okay if it softens entirely.
  • Choose a small skillet, 8-10 inches, it should not be of the nonstick variety, unless you have a plastic kitchen whip.
  • Put the egg yolks into the pan with 1 tablespoon of the water, and some salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat to very low.
  • Whisk the egg yolks until smooth, it is okay to beat them until they are light, like for a cake.
  • Cook over very gentle heat, stirring all the time, until the egg yolks ever so slightly begin to thicken.
  • It is a very good idea to put the pan on the heat, and off of the heat, whisking all the while, looking for subtle signs of cooking, as this method can happen very quickly.
  • Once the egg yolks have been warmed, it is very likely that the residual heat from the pan will cook them enough to begin making the sauce.
  • Add the lemon juice, alternately it can be added after incorporating the butter.
  • Whisk in one piece of the butter, at a time, keep the pan off heat as much as possible, putting it back on the low flame intermittently, only to help the butter cubes dissolve.
  • The operation of emulsifying the solids can be done fast or slow depending on your own experience and comfort level with this sort of process, because the butter is whole, and unmelted, it is nearly impossible to break the emulsion.
  • Once some of the butter has been swirled in, several pieces should be able to be added at one time, with no adverse side effects.
  • When the last of the butter has been added, stir in the rest of the water.
  • Taste and correct for salt, butter sauces do not need a lot.
  • Serve at once, or reheat, do not keep this hollandaise over a pan of hot water, for any length of time, it will break immediately. When reheating, do it slowly, adding a little more lemon juice, if desired, and drops of warm water to thin. Can be made earlier in the day and kept at room temperature, but do not chill, or make the day before.