Classic Hollandaise Sauce

The most important thing to remember for a successful sauce is to use a double boiler and make sure that a) the bottom of the double boiler top doesn’t actually touch the water in the bottom half and b) that the water in the bottom half never actually boils, but stays hot and simmering. If you find the water starts to boil, add cold water to it.
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter, separate the butter from the milk solids and keep it warm.

Heat the vinegar or lemon juice until just warmed. Have a kettle with boiling water on hand and a measuring spoon ready. Prepare your double boiler so that the top half is above but not in the hot water.

Put the egg yolks in the top of the double boiler and whisk them until they start to thicken. One at a time, add four tablespoons of hot water, whisking well after each addition. Your sauce should have started to thicken nicely.

At this point, you can begin adding the warmed vinegar or lemon juice. Once your acid has been added and whisked in, remove the double boiler from the heat. Continue to beat well while slowly adding the melted butter. Add your seasoning and continue to whisk the sauce until it is thick and velvety. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 1 cup
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