Homemade Hollandaise Sauce With Clarified Butter

Homemade hollandaise sauce over eggs Benedict

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
244 Calories
26g Fat
1g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 244
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 15g 76%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 81mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 4g
Calcium 24mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hollandaise sauce can be tricky to make as the ingredients need to be cooked just right to avoid separation. One way to boost your chances of a successful sauce is to use clarified butter. Clarified butter—butter that is liquefied and then strained until it's clear—helps stabilize the sauce so that it doesn't curdle. It is pure fat, whereas whole butter is 16 to 17 percent water, which can weaken the emulsion. Another trick to assuring your Hollandaise comes together properly is to have the ingredients at room temperature before starting to cook; they will emulsify better if they are warm.

Of course, we all know Hollandaise as the signature sauce for eggs Benedict, but it is also delicious spooned over steamed asparagus, poached fish, broccoli, and chicken breasts.

1:15

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup clarified butter (about 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter)
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste, or a dash of Tabasco sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Heat 1 to 2-inches of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Make sure the clarified butter is warm but not hot.​

  3. Combine the egg yolks and the cold water in a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl (not aluminum) and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and foamy. Whisk in a couple of drops of the lemon juice.​

    combine eggs and cold water
     The Spruce
  4. Once the water in the saucepan has begun to simmer, set the bowl directly on top of the saucepan, making sure the water itself does not come in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the egg mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.​

    set bowl on top of pan with water
     The Spruce
  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and begin adding the clarified butter slowly, a few drops at a time, while whisking constantly. If you add it too quickly, the emulsion will break.​

    add clarified butter into mixture slowly
     The Spruce
  6. Continue beating in the clarified butter. As the sauce thickens, you can gradually increase the rate at which you add it.​

    continue adding clarified butter
    The Spruce 
  7. After you've added all of the butter, whisk in the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with kosher salt and cayenne pepper (or a dash of Tabasco sauce).

    whisk remaining lemon juice and cayenne pepper
     The Spruce
  8. The finished hollandaise sauce will have a smooth, firm consistency. If it's too thick, you can adjust by whisking in a few drops of warm water.​ Serve and enjoy.

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
    The Spruce 

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Tips

  • It's best to serve hollandaise right away, but if need be, you can hold it for about an hour or so, provided you keep it warm. After 2 hours, though, you should toss it—it'll eventually start to separate, and food safety will become an issue.
  • By gently heating the egg yolks, the proteins are being altered in a way that makes them bond more effectively with the fat droplets in the clarified butter. This creates a more stable emulsion, meaning your Hollandaise is less likely to curdle. At the same time, make sure the yolks don't get too hot; egg yolks lose their emulsifying powers when cooked, which is why this gentler, less direct method of warming them works. Plus, if you heat the yolks too much, you'll have scrambled eggs.
  • A warm kitchen is preferred over a cooler one since warmer temperatures help the egg yolks to emulsify with the melted butter.