Perfect hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise is, I think, the single greatest thing a spear of asparagus can aspire to, yet the path to perfection is fraught with danger for the cook. British asparagus deserves better than curdled eggs.


4 large free-range egg yolks
250g cold unsalted butter, diced
ΒΌ lemon


  1. Put the yolks, butter and 2 tbsp water in a heavy-based pan and heat very gently, whisking all the time. As the butter melts, the sauce will begin to thicken; don't be tempted to hurry things along by turning the heat up, the sides of the pan should be cool enough to touch at all times. Do not leave your post at any time: this sauce will brook no postmen or tea-making.

  1. Once the butter has melted, turn up the heat to medium-low and whisk vigorously until it thickens: if it begins to steam, take it off the heat, but do not, under any circumstances, cease whisking.

  1. When the sauce is thickened to your taste, stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice and season. Taste and adjust if necessary. Serve immediately, or store in a warm place or a vacuum flask until needed: it doesn't take kindly to reheating.
  • Total time: 20 mins

Serves: 1

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