Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Orange Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

Sauce hollandaise is the classic sauce served warm with Eggs Benedict, steamed fish, and cooked asparagus. The sauce is traditionally made out of egg yolks and butter, and seasoned with lemon juice, white pepper and salt.

The history of the sauce is not quite clear. The name suggests that the sauce originated in Holland and was probably introduced to France by the French Protestants. 

A recipe for a thick egg sauce appeared in an old Dutch cookbook by Carel Baten in 1593. More than half a century later a Frenchman, François Pierre de la Varenne published a very influential cookbook "Le Cuisinier François" in which he described a butter sauce similar to hollandaise. His recipe called for butter, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and egg yolk.

Sauce hollandaise became quite popular in the 19th century. Sometimes called sauce Isigny after a town Isigny-sur-Mer that was known for its great-tasting butter, the sauce was generally known as the Dutch sauce for fish. 

Be warned, the sauce is not very easy to make and it requires a little practice. Once you mastered the art you will never ever buy a ready-made sauce at the grocery store. 

The recipe I am sharing with you is a variation of the traditional recipe. I am certain that you will love it. 

  • 3 egg yolks (use organic eggs if you can)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
  • 3 Tbsp freshly pressed orange juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Celtic sea salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest for garnish

  • double boiler (bain-marie)
  • balloon whisk
  • citrus zester 

  • Fill the bottom pan of the double boiler with water and bring it to a simmer.
  • Place the egg yolks, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp of the orange juice in the top pan of the double boiler. 
  • Set the top pan on top of the pan with water and whisk the yolks vigorously until they begin to warm up and thicken. Be careful here. The top pan should not touch the water or you will get scrambled eggs!
  • Add 1 Tbsp of butter and whisk until the butter melts and is fully incorporated into the sauce. Add another tablespoon of butter and repeat. Proceed in this manner until the whole butter is used up. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens again. The volume should almost double.
  • Take the top pan off the pan with water and place it on the working surface. Season the sauce with salt and cayenne pepper and mix well. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in the remaining orange juice. The sauce should have creamy, almost velvety consistency.
  • Serve your hollandaise with boiled white and green asparagus, garnish with orange zest and enjoy it in good company!

By Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon©2015