HOLLANDAISE is the most familiar of classic French sauces— wonderful in its most basic form, a brunch staple with poached eggs and English muffins, with minor adjustments this sauce can become béarnaise, incorporating a reduction of tarragon and vinegar; or choron, with tomato purée; or Maltese, with orange juice and zest. Mousseline is another variation: hollandaise lightened with whipped cream.

When making either Béarnaise or Hollandaise Sauce, do NOT do not use an aluminum or copper bowl, as either can cause sauce to become discolored.  Use  a ceramic, glass or stainless bowl.

Sauce Hollandaise


To make about 1 1/2 cups

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter        1 tablespoon chilled butter

3 egg yolks                                           1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice                        Salt and white pepper


In a small, heavy pan over low heat, melt 1 1/2 sticks butter without letting it brown.  Set the butter aside and keep it warm. 

Off heat, in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart stainless-steel or enameled saucepan, beat the egg yolks vigorously with a wire whisk for 1 minute or until they become thick; the bottom of the pan should show through when the whisk is draw across it.  Beat in the lemon juice. 

Then place the pan over very low heat and stir in the one tablespoon of chilled butter with the whisk.  Stir constantly, lifting the pan off the stove occasionally to prevent it from overheating, until the butter has been absorbed and the mixture thickens enough to coat the wires of the whisk lightly.

Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the cream.  Still off the heat, pour in the warm, melted butter by droplets, stirring constantly with the whisk.  The sauce will thicken into a heavy cream.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

                     (adapted from Time-Life, Cooking of Provincial France)

Another recipe for Hollandaise, using white wine vinegar

Hollandaise Sauce     (using white wine vinegar)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 egg yolk

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Dash of salt and freshly ground pepper (use white pepper if you have it)

In a saucepan or in top of a double boiler, combine vinegar, water and lemon juice.  Place over hot, not boiling, water.  Whisk to combine.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, stirring constantly.  Gradually add butter.  Cook until thickened, beating constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you are watching your butter intake, an excellent substitute for Hollandaise is Avgolemono Sauce, made with egg yolks and a good chicken stock.

Double click here for Mock Hollandaise, a simple quick substitute for traditional hollandaise sauce, using sour cream and mayonnaise, if you have those ingredients on hand and no time or no patience for creating the real thing.


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