Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1/2 cup
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- There are a couple different pan options for making this sauce. You can use a double boiler, a sauce pan, a skillet or even a stainless steel bowl. You want to use whatever you are best at controlling heat with.
- Now, take your three egg yolks and the tablespoon of lemon juice and whisk it together using no heat. You want the mixture to double in size and it will have a glue-like consistency and become pale.
- Place the pan over a low heat and quickly continue whisking. You want to cook the egg yolks but NOT scramble them. This is the part where most people mess up, so take your time, only allowing the pan to come in contact with heat briefly. You can keep a bowl of ice water near by to dip the pan in to remove the heat if you find this step challenging. Eventually the mixture will start to really thicken, becoming almost difficult to whisk when it is done. The consistency is more like paste at this point.
- By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want. You can use more than 1/2 stick if you like.
- Season the sauce with a pinch of salt and some cayenne pepper. Be careful, it is really easy to over-salt this sauce.
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