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A Case for Homemade Hollandaise

Rachel Tepper Paley
March 3, 2014

You know hollandaise sauce: thick and creamy, with a lemony, acidic tang. French. Last seen languishing over eggs Benedict at the local bar’s third-rate brunch. There, amongst the flutes of bottomless mimosas.

Hollandaise sauce has seen better days. Monday, it officially hit rock bottom: Dunkin’ Donuts debuted its new "Eggs Benedict" breakfast sandwich, which features a hollandaise sauce roughly the texture of cream cheese.

Forgive them, Julia Child! They know not what they do! 

What with the appalling imitators out there in the brunchy wilderness, your path is clear: Avoid the fakes entirely, and make the classic sauce at home.

And know that you’ve got options beyond eggs benny. Try subbing in hollandaise for béchamel sauce (which is in the same family, but with a more acidic kick and a creaminess from egg yolks) in this Green Madame, an open-faced egg sandwich topped with spring garlic. Or drizzle it over an herbaceous baked turbot.

And don’t worry about the difficulty level. Hollandaise sauce gets a bad rap for being hard to make—traditionally, there’s a lot of whisking involved—but you’ll save yourself a headache or three if you follow this simple recipe from Everyday Food, which suggests you skip the whisk entirely and use a blender instead

Even fancy French chef Eric Ripert even goes for the blitz approach to the sauce sometimes. See? There’s hope for hollandaise yet.

Photo credit: Everyday Food

Easy Hollandaise

(Serves 4)


  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter


1. In a blender, combine egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and salt; blend until frothy.

2. Heat butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium until bubbly (do not let brown). With blender running, pour in hot butter in a very thin stream, blending until sauce is thick and emulsified.