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Lemony, Light Hollandaise

I make this version of hollandaise for topping crepes and baked oysters. Its texture is a bit thinner than classical hollandaise, and the lemon component is more pronounced–although the longer it sits there staying warm, the thicker it gets. You can use this as a sauce for almost anything. Add small amounts of other ingredients to extend the possibilities. (Example: a teaspoon of Creole mustard.)

A serving dish of asparagus with hollandaise sauce

A serving dish of asparagus with hollandaise sauce

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne

1. Briskly whisk the egg yolks with 1 Tbs. warm water in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering but not boiling water until they begin to noticeably thicken. If the eggs appear to be curdling, take the bowl off the heat, but keep whisking. Keep going back and forth from the heat until the mixture is uniform in texture and much lighter in color.

2. Adding the melted butter, a pat at a time, while whisking. After about a fourth of the butter is in there, you’ll see a major change in the texture of the sauce. Add a teaspoon of water at that point and step up the addition of the butter a bit. Keep going till all the butter is incorporated.

3. Whisk in the cayenne and lemon juice. Serve right away.

Makes about 1 cup.

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