What is a Hollandaise Sauce?
A hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of melted butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice whisked into a creamy coating typically poured over eggs, among other foods. This mother of sauces tastes like a lemon-clotted cream, adding bright acidity and a hint of sweetness to its dishes.
Mastering a hollandaise should not be an intimidating endeavor. Our recipe is simple, quick, and easy and will dub you a master in no time.
4 Simple Baseline Ingredients for Making Hollandaise
- Egg yolks
- Melted butter
- Squeezed lemon
It’s All About the Consistency
As you whisk your hollandaise into the perfect consistency, watch as the volume rises over time. When it doubles in size, it is likely the right consistency. The classic French technique to determine the doneness of the hollandaise is employed using a spoon. Once the hollandaise coats the back of the spoon, it is perfect. It should drizzle, not glop over a dish. Still, puzzled? Watch this video to see what we mean.
How to Eat Hollandaise
- Whip up our scallops benedict recipe
- Drizzle over poached salmon and a bed of steamed asparagus
- Dress crab, prawns, or other shellfish and garnish with chopped chives
- Pour over poached eggs atop an English muffin to create eggs benedict
- Dip and devour lovely seared chunks of steak
What to Do with Leftover Hollandaise
If you have leftover hollandaise, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, when you refrigerate the sauce, it grows thicker and thicker over time. Consequently, when you pull it out of the fridge, you are left with gloppy hollandaise. To bring your hollandaise back to life (and to the consistency you desire), here’s the trick: Pour the hollandaise into a pot on the stovetop at low heat. Gently heat the sauce, then whisk in, piping hot melted butter and a splash of water to thin out the sauce. In seconds you will return the sauce to its former glory.
Classic French Hollandaise Sauce
- 2 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 of a stick)
- 2 cups cold water
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- 1-2 springs fresh thyme (leaves)
- salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Whisk the Eggs and Lemon Juice
- Begin by whisking egg yolks in a stainless-steel mixing bowl. Add lemon juice into the mixing bowl and continue to whisk vigorously.
2. Melt the Butter
- Melt unsalted butter either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Set aside.
3. Prepare the Double Boiler or Pot of Simmering Water
- Add cold water into a pot (or the base of a double boiler) and place it on the stovetop at medium heat. Bring to simmer.
- Place the mixing bowl (or upper pot of the double boiler) over simmering water.
4. Continue Whisking over the Hot Water while Adding Melted Butter
- Continue to whisk. Ensure that the sauce does not overheat. Otherwise, the eggs may scramble.
- Drizzle melted butter slowly into the mixing bowl. Continue to whisk.
- Whisk in thyme leaves, salt, and ground pepper.
5. Allow Hollandaise to Double in Volume
- When the hollandaise doubles in volume and generously coats the back of a spoon, it is done. Pour mixture into another (cool temperature) bowl and set aside.
- Serve and enjoy.