Every cook should be able to make classic French Mother sauces and hollandaise is one of the great ones, perfect for asparagus, fish and American favourite Eggs Benedict. It had a cameo role on Downton, but who knew it was always keto friendly.
This version created by Master Chef Auguste Escoffier, who inventedthe 5 mother sauces, set the standard for all us to follow.
Course Pantry Basic
Cuisine As Seen on Downton, French, Keto, Vegetarian, Victorian
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 20minutes
1/2mediumlemon, juicedto thin the sauce if required
1pinchcayenne pepper,to taste
Make the Clarified Butter by melting the butter over low heat in a heavy saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Skim the foam from the top, and slowly pour into a container, discarding the milky solids in the bottom of pan.
Place yolks, water and vinegar in a metal bowl, whisking until incorporated.
Place the bowl on a pot of simmering water, and quickly whisk until yolks are lighter in color and a ribbon consistency, then remove from heat.
Heat clarified butter to 125 F (warm, not hot).
Slowly add butter to yolks, whisking constantly. Add a few drops of lemon juice to thin the sauce if you need to. Season to taste with salt, cayenne and lemon juice.
You can hold the sauce at 125F for 1.5 hours. The best way to keep it warm is by putting over a pan of lukewarm water, it will hold perfectly. Too warm and it will curdle.
If the Sauce is too Thick: beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water, vegetable cooking liquid, stock, milk, or cream.
If the Sauce Refuses to Thicken: if you have beaten in your butter too quickly, and the sauce refuses to thicken, rinse out a mixing bowl with hot water. Put in a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of the sauce. Whisk for a moment until the sauce creams and thickens. Then whisk in the rest of the sauce half a tablespoon at a time, beating until each addition has thickened in the sauce before adding the next. Your patience will be rewarded.
The Downton Cure when the Sauce has Broken or "Curdled: if a finished sauce starts to separate, a tablespoon of cold water beaten into it will often bring it back. If that fails, whisk another egg in a separate heated bowl, and then slowly whisk in the curdled sauce.
Leftover Hollandaise: you can keep leftover hollandaise for a day or two refrigerated but freezes great. You can add it to other sauces as well to enhance flavour. To reheat, whisk a couple of tablespoons over very low heat or over another pot of simmering water, then gradually whisk in the remaining sauce.