Hollandaise Sauce (and how to fix it if it breaks)

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This is actually easier than you think to make yourself. The trick is in the technique and knowing what may happen.

2 sticks butter
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice (a little less than half a lemon's worth)
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Small saucepan
Saucier (This has rounder edges than a normal saucepan making it a little better for this purpose. If you don't have one, just use a small saucepan)
Flat whisk (This is good for sauces because you can get in the corners of the pot better, but a balloon whisk is just fine)

Melt the butter over medium-low heat in the saucepan. Do not stir.

While the butter is melting, juice half a lemon and separate the eggs. Combine yolks, juice, and water in the saucier.

When the butter is melted (should be about now), skim the top.

Whisk the egg mixture until it gets frothy to really mix it together well. Turn the heat on to low and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to the point where it feels like a sauce and you can scrape the bottom of the pan and you'll see the bottom. Take the pan off the heat immediately when it gets to this stage.

While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the butter, avoiding the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. At first, just a few drops at a time, until you get about a teaspoon in; then you can do a very thin stream until you get about a tablespoon in; then you can be a little more generous by the end. During this time, adding the butter may cause the sauce to look like it's getting slimey and starting to separate. If you see this, just put the butter down and whisk vigorously and it'll be fine. As long as you are careful to SLOWLY add the butter in the beginning so you can get the emulsion base going first. Once the emulsion is started, the sauce can absorb more butter faster.

If, during adding the butter, you find the sauce beginning to separate and whisking isn't quite getting it together, add a tablespoon of cold water to try to bring it back together. If it doesn't work, just continue the steps above and see below to fix the sauce.

At this point, the sauce should be nice and thick, about the consistency of mayonnaise. If it's too runny, your sauce has separated. See below to fix it. Add the salt and pepper, more to taste.

To keep the sauce warm, transfer to a bowl and put over a saucepan of hot water, stirring often. You don't want to keep it on direct heat, even very low heat, because it will tend to separate.

You can refrigerate or freeze sauce and use it in other sauces as a base for later. To reclaim it into hollandaise again, put a bowl over hot water and whisk in a tablespoon of sauce in at a time, whisking vigorously to keep the emulsion from breaking. If it does, just see below.

Fixing a broken hollandaise

If the sauce separates on you, you've broken the emulsion and it takes a little bit of work to fix it, but it will work. Since hollandaise is not completely cooked through, the sauce can be rescued.

Rinse a bowl with hot water. Discard water.

Mix together 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sauce, whisking vigorously until the sauce creams and thickens. Then whisk in a half tablespoon at a time of the sauce into the bowl, whisking vigorously, making sure that the mixture thickens before adding the next installment. Once you're done, you have your hollandaise again (maybe a little more lemony than before, but it still tastes good).

I used to always make bernaise from scratch. (hollandaise base) Get frustrated because if it stayed on the stove too long it would break down. :sheehan:

I must confess that last year at Christmas, I bought Knorr's Bernaise in a packet...all you add is milk and butter.

It's delicious! I will not ever screw around making it from scratch again! No one knew the difference!

If you want to make it from scratch again, just make sure to put the sauce in a mixing bowl and put the bowl over a saucepan of hot water, maybe on low heat to keep it warm. You want it gently warmed. Whisk it occasionally to keep it evenly heated and it should be fine. If you keep it heated properly, it's good for about an hour.

I can make it fine....it's just when I'm cooking alot of different things that all need attention...and there are 10-20 people standing around .....I'm liking Knorr's.

Seriously, OP...try it sometime and see what you think. I was quite surprised...

I like Knorr's and use it a lot.  Now put a medium-rare piece of fillet under it and I'm there  |^_^| |^_^|  Cindy (that's my wife) loves eggs benedict and the Knorr's does a fine job.


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