Stove-Top Hollandaise (From Julia Child)

If you want to be adventuresome, you should definitely try homemade Hollandaise sauce to serve with artichokes when you really want to impress your family and friends. It is the perfect marriage of lemon and butter. We made this recently in a Tess’ cooking class. The recipe is one inspired by my beloved colleague Julia Child, and it works perfectly.

Makes 1 to 1-1/2 cups

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons water

¼ teaspoon salt

big pinch of freshly ground white or black pepper

3 egg yolks at room temperature

2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1-1/2 sticks melted unsalted butter

additional salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Place lemon juice, water, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. Let cool until just warm.

Place egg yolks in a medium, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan. Beat yolks with a whisk for a minute or so until thick. Beat in the lemon reduction.

Add one tablespoon of cold butter to the yolk mixture and place over moderately low heat. Stir slowly but constantly with a wire whisk. In a minute or so look for foam to appear on top of yolks and a few wisps of steam. Remove from heat and stir until yolks are thick and smooth. Beat in the second tablespoon of cold butter to stop the cooking.

Off heat, add the melted butter by teaspoonfuls, beating until each is absorbed. Continue until sauce thickens into a heavy cream. Beat in larger spoonfuls of butter until all has been added. Correct seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

For a lighter sauce add a tablespoon or two of hot water or vegetable stock.

If you are not ready to serve, set pan over warm, not hot, water to hold for 30 minutes or so.