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Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce1

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Hollandaise sauceHollandaise sauce is a smooth rich creamy sauce thickened by the use of egg yolks.

Use hollandaise sauce as a topping for asparagus, broccoli and other vegetables.

Hollandaise and mayonnaise are very similar—the fats are the difference: hollandaise uses butter; mayonnaise uses vegetable oil.

One of the earliest recipes for hollandaise appeared in a French cookbook in 1758.

Some consider hollandaise a difficult sauce to prepare, but with a blender it is simple.

Here is a recipe for hollandaise that you can prepare using a blender:


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (Generally, use 2 tablespoons of butter per egg yolk)

3 egg yolks

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of dry mustard of cayenne

1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste


1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, do not let it brown.—use a well-tinned copper or stainless steel sauté pan (an aluminum pan will turn the sauce a greenish color).

2. Combine the other ingredients in the blender and blend.

3. Drizzle in the butter—egg yolks can hold only so much butter so don’t add the butter too quickly—just a teaspoon at a time.

The mixture will thicken.

4. Taste and add lemon juice or other seasoning—a teaspoon of minced herbs such as tarragon or dill.

5. Transfer to a container and serve–or keep warm by nesting the container in a second bowl filled with very hot water. (You can use a double boiler to prevent overheating.) Stir occasionally for up to 30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce as close to serving time as possible. (If kept too hot, the sauce will curdle; if too cold, there is a danger the eggs will spoil and the butter will stiffen.)

Do not let an egg sauce sit out for longer than an hour, and don’t save leftover egg sauces.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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