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hollandaise sauce - proper egg yolk/butter ratio

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I would like to make it homemade instead of from a package (think Knorrs). Every recipe I have looked at has different ration of the number of egg yolks versus the amount of butter. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe to share? I am also intrigued at using an immersion blender. Has anyone that tried that? TIA!

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  1. I use yolk of 1 large egg and 200gms of butter. I have never used immersion blender for this sauce. I just whisk the egg over bain-marrie and slowly add butter. The homemade one is much better than the packet one and it's easy too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: raisa

      Hmm..you use almost a full cup of butter to one egg yolk. That seems like a lot of butter!

      1. re: hto44

        Yes, but a good portion of the butter's weight comes from the milk solids. So, when we remove them, as in clarify the butter, it becomes less. Hollandaise is an emulsion of butter and lemon juice. Egg yolk works as binder. Of course many use less butter and more egg but I find that eggy not buttery. Also adding the lemon juice cuts through the richness nicely.

    2. I make hollandaise the old fashioned way - in a saucepan with a whisk - using 2 egg yolks and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter.

      1. I use four yolks to one stick of butter. Cut the butter into thirds, cut on of those thirds into three pieces. Start with the smaller sections. Add one and beat over hot water (not boiling) until compeletely incorporated, add next piece and so on. It is very simple. It was the first thing I learned to cook at about age 8.

        1. A large egg yolk can handle 1 ounce of butter. That said, you don't need to use a full ounce if you don't want to.

          Use an ounce ladel to get the correct measurement as you are streaming and whisking.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jameshig

            A large egg yolk can emulsify at least a cup of clarified butter. It's amazing how much fat you can pack into an egg yolk.

            How many egg yolks you use depends of how eggy you want the sauce. I prefer two yolks to a cup of warm clarified butter, adding the lemon juice to the yolks first, then whisking over a bain marie, then finishing with a few dashes of hot sauce and salt, if necessary.

          2. I used to whisk over the double boiler, then got a little book on Sauces and Gravies from the America's Test Kitchen people, and gave the blender method a try- it was *perfect* every single time. Put the lemon, cayenne and 3 yolks in the blender, start it up and pour the HOT (but no browned) butter in a thin stream. Takes seconds. It's fabulous. Same method for the immersion blender, just keep the stick all the way in while adding the butter.

            1 Reply
            1. My recipe from my restaurant days is a dozen yolks to clarified butter from one pound of butter. Doesn't specify size of eggs. Always worked, blender or classic whisking.

              1. Tried and true is 4 egg yolks to a 1/4 cup of butter.

                1. The mind boggles on some of these proportions. Some are so yolk heavy they would produce scrambled eggs, not hollandaise. The traditional recipe is 3 yolks to about a cup of butter. Yolks are much larger these days (years ago most people cooked with medium eggs) so it's easy to make a great sauce with 2 yolks to maybe 7 or 8 oz of butter. Hollandaise is one of the french "mother sauces" and while there are many variations, this is a pretty standard proportion. To be really traditional it should contain some shallots, but few cooks do this any more. An immersion blender would produce a very thick sauce so make sure not to put too much yolk. That said, if you aren't very skilled at mixing emulsions by hand it's a great tool to help avoid a separated sauce. If you do it by hand just be sure to add the butter super slow at first. The biggest fault of many restaurant versions is that they are too timid with the acid (lemon, wine, etc). You need some acid to cut through all that fat. (Kudos for making your own. The packaged stuff has a lot of chemicals and makes some people get bad indigestion. Also, many of them taste like chicken gravy).