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easy homemade hollandaise sauce in a white dish

Step-By-Step Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

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Rich, buttery, and so deliciously creamy, hollandaise sauce is often described as the ultimate breakfast or brunch sauce. Often believed to be notoriously difficult to make, hollandaise sauce is one of the 5 Mother sauces of French cuisine and isn’t so much difficult to make as it is finicky.

While it is most often served with breakfast (think poached eggs or smoked salmon eggs benedict) as a breakfast sauce, it also pairs very well with salmon, asparagus, and other grilled vegetables.

Delicious creamy hollandaise sauce is perfect on poached eggs, salmon and even vegetables such as asparagus.

Something that bugs me to no end as a professionally trained chef is when others say they love making eggs benedict, yet don’t make their own hollandaise from scratch. True, it’s not the easiest sauce to make, but with patience and practice, real hollandaise sauce is achievable for anyone.

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Why Make Hollandaise From Scratch & Not Simply Buy It Instead?

The powdered commercial substitutes you can buy in grocery stores are far cry from the real deal. Many will argue that store bought hollandaise is easier to make, won’t split, and is more cost effective.

While it’s true it may be cheaper, that doesn’t mean it tastes the same or is better for you. As for the claim that the store bought powder is easier to make, I would have to disagree.

Making hollandaise sauce from scratch is fairly simple if you follow a few simple steps, and with practice, you’ll be able to make it at home in as little as 15 minutes.

So How Do You Make Hollandaise Sauce From Scratch?

Often touted as a food item only professional chefs can make, this creamy buttery sauce can be made by anyone willing to learn. As one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine, making hollandaise is an essential cooking skill for any budding chef.

A classic hollandaise is simply an emulsion of butterfat in egg yolks. In plain English, that means the egg yolk is used to thicken and hold together the combination of white wine reduction and butter.

Another popular example of an emulsion is mayonnaise or a creamy vinaigrette.

Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients

Traditionally a classic French Hollandaise consists of three ingredients.

  • Clarified Butter
  • Egg Yolk
  • and an Acid (usually a white wine reduction, though lemon juice may be used instead.)

To make the white wine reduction, simmer 1 cup of white wine with some shallots, a few black peppercorns, and a sprig of fresh thyme and reduce by half. Save leftover liquid for future use. – Chef Markus

Learn to make your own clarified butter at home.

With practice, these ingredients can be eye-balled, but it’s important to know there is only a certain amount of butter an egg yolk can emulsify before the sauce will ‘split’.

One egg yolk will properly emulsify half a pound of clarified butter. If you want to make a larger batch for example with one pound of butter you’ll simply need more yolks.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1/2 lb Clarified butter
  • 2 Egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp white wine reduction, (any acid will do and even straight lemon juice will work instead of using a reduction).

Equipment:

  • A wire whisk
  • A large metal bowl
  • a double boiler

Step-By-Step Hollandaise Sauce Instructions

1.To start, make sure your clarified butter is hot and liquid, (but not boiling). Place a pot of water on the stove to boil. This pot will be your double boiler over which we will partially cook the egg yolk

2. Crack the eggs and separate the yolks into a large bowl. Add your white wine reduction (or lemon juice if using) to the egg yolks. Place the bowl over the double boiler and whisk the egg/wine mixture with one hand while holding the bowl in the other.

You need to vigorously whisk the egg yolk back and forth as you are trying to incorporate air into the eggs as the steam from the boiling water below starts to gently cook the yolk.

Whisking the yolk helps prevent them from scrambling as well. If the eggs do start to scramble around the edges of the bowl the eggs are too hot. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and keep whisking. If the eggs fully scramble and look chunky, you will need to start over. – Chef Markus

Keep whisking the eggs until they become creamy, thicken, and leave ribbon-like trails in the bowl when you run the whisk through it. Once you reach this ribbon stage you are ready to emulsify the butter into the egg yolk.

3. Remove the yolk-filled bowl from the double boiler and cradle it in a ‘nest’ of kitchen towels on the counter. This nest will hold your bowl as you slowly whisk the hot butter into the egg mixture.

Adding one ladle of butter at a time, slowly drizzle the butter into the yolk, while simultaneously whisking it. Make sure to completely whisk the one ladle of warm clarified butter into the egg mix before adding the next ladle.

Related:  Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins
emulsifying clarified butter into yolks to make hollanadaise.

To be clear when I say ‘whisk’, this is not stirring. You need to vigorously whisk back and forth to properly incorporate the butter into the yolk. Get ready for a shoulder workout! – Chef Markus

4. Keep adding the butter to the egg mix, ladle by ladle, until the mixture thickens and becomes rich and buttery. If the hollandaise starts to get too thick add a tiny splash of hot water to thin it out and immediately whisk it in.

5. Season the hollandaise with lemon juice and Tabasco if desired.

homemade hollandaise being spooned into a white ceramic dish

It is important to keep hollandaise warm while getting ready to serve it. If the sauce is allowed to cool the butter will solidify and split out once reheated. If it becomes too hot the butterfat will separate from the yolks and create an oily mess.

Hollandaise Variations

As hollandaise is one of the 5 Mother sauces, it can be used as a base to create other sauces, making it very versatile.

The most common hollandaise derivative is Bearnaise sauce. In this variation, shallots and tarragon are added to the sauce, either in the wine reduction or finely chopped and added to the final product. Bearnaise sauce is often served with steak.

Sauce Choron, is hollandaise sauce with tomato puree added.

Sauce maltaise is hollandaise sauce with blood orange juice and zest added. Great for use with desserts.

Sauce Dijon is hollandaise sauce with dijon mustard mixed in.

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

Hollandaise Sauce From Scratch

Hollandaise Sauce is one of the 5 Mother Sauces of French cooking. An essential skill for any home cook to have & the perfect addition to eggs and seafood!
Course Mother Sauce
Cuisine French
Keyword hollandaise sauce without blender, how to make hollandaise sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup hollandaise sauce
Calories 3705.2kcal
Author Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Clarified butter
  • 2 whole Egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp white wine reduction lemon juice will work instead of using a reduction

Equipment:

  • A wire whisk
  • A large metal bowl
  • A double boiler

Instructions

  • To start, make sure your clarified butter is hot and liquid, (but not boiling). Place a pot of water on the stove to boil. This pot will be your double boiler over which we will partially cook the egg yolk
  • Crack the eggs and separate the yolks into a large bowl. Add your white wine reduction (or lemon juice if using) to the egg yolks.
  • Place the bowl over the double boiler and whisk the egg/wine mixture with one hand while holding the bowl in the other. You need to vigorously whisk the egg yolk back and forth as you are trying to incorporate air into the eggs as the steam from the boiling water below starts to gently cook the yolk.
  • Keep whisking the eggs until they become creamy, thicken, and leave ribbon-like trails in the bowl when you run the whisk through it. Once you reach this ribbon stage you are ready to emulsify the butter into the egg yolk.
  • Remove the yolk-filled bowl from the double boiler and cradle it in a ‘nest’ of kitchen towels on the counter. This nest will hold your bowl as you slowly whisk the hot butter into the egg mixture.
  • Adding one ladle of butter at a time, slowly drizzle the butter into the yolk, while simultaneously whisking it. Make sure to completely whisk the one ladle of warm clarified butter into the egg mix before adding the next ladle.
  • Keep adding the butter to the egg mix, ladle by ladle, until the mixture thickens and becomes rich and buttery.
  • Season the hollandaise with lemon juice and Tabasco if desired.

Notes

  • There is only a certain amount of butter an egg yolk can emulsify before the sauce will ‘split’. One egg yolk will properly emulsify half a pound of clarified butter. If you want to make a larger batch for example with one pound of butter you’ll simply need more yolks.
  • Whisking the yolk helps prevent them from scrambling as well. If the eggs do start to scramble around the edges of the bowl the eggs are too hot. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and keep whisking. If the eggs fully scramble and look chunky, you will need to start over
  • If the hollandaise starts to get too thick add a tiny splash of hot water to thin it out and immediately whisk it in.

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2 Comments

  1. So simple!? I am all for making at home and from scratch but I never thought to make my own Hollandaise sauce. I guess I always thought it would be complicated. So glad that you are doing this series. Thank you!

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